Chapter 1 : Let's Just Get One Thing Straight
| ||Rating: 15+||Chapter Reviews: 12|
Change Background: Change Font color:
Gorgeous chapter image by Dora Winifred at TDA
I'll murder James Sirius Potter.
Of course, I'll find a suitable replacement for my brother Perseus and apologise profusely (but not sincerely) for offing his best mate. But he'll understand why I did it.
Blood runs thicker than water, right?
And with our ridiculous Greek names ("Eeees tradition!" our father would screech, before squirting us with his trademark spray bottle of orange blossom water), we simply have to stick together.
Merlin, we're the only kids at Hogwarts with Greek names who are actually Greek.
Literally. Our grandparents came all the way over to England on a sodding flying carpet from the Aristotle Lyceum of Magic in Athens.
Besides, it's not as if I don't have a legitimate reason for murdering James. I mean, I don't normally stroll about, AK-ing Harry Potter's family and cackling about it. That would've been Voldemort's business.
Too soon? I figured.
So, what's my good reason, you ask?
I know what you're thinking. And you're right. You don't know me. For all you know, James Potter could be the sweetest sod on the planet.
You're wrong, by the way.
But I suppose I owe you an explanation, don't I? Before I launch into my tale, I'll preempt it with a brief assessment of James: He's a bit of a prat.
He's not the arrogant toerag or womanising pig you might assume I'd say he is. Really, he has his good qualities and is, overall, a pretty nice bloke (when he's not acting like a total berk).
Not to mention, he is unbelievably good-looking.
Conveniently forget I just said that bit, will you? Under normal circumstances, I'd never admit anything too favourable of James. That's not to say that he can't be agreeable, I mean.
We've been on somewhat decent terms since my brother's first day on the Hogwarts Express, when Perseus met him on the platform and they clucked happily like old birds over each other's emerald Kenmare Kestrels jumpers.
Naturally, when I glanced over at Perseus and James making a luuurve connection, I was incensed with envy. Perseus was my brother, after all, and it was obvious that James was already starting to claim his title as "best mate of the blimmin' year." It was only inevitable that they would trot off to Hogwarts without me for a whole year and become the best of friends.
So, as any jealous ten-year-old would do, I primly marched over to the lanky pipsqueak who was bromancing my brother and smartly informed him that his team was rubbish.
He then proceeded to make me cry by commenting on my hair, which apparently resembled a "nest full of hippogriff feathers," and I shot him square in the face with the miniature spray bottle of orange blossom water Papa had proudly given me just moments ago.
A little bit of a fact: Our family shares an unnatural penchant for orange blossom water. I dunno if that's a Greek thing or if it may be just us. I think other families just make do with lemon juice.
As Perseus doubled over in snorts of prepubescent laughter, James and I glared at each other, his orange blossom-scented Kestrels jumper clenched in his fist and my hand defencively clutching the spray bottle.
After a few moments of jibes being thrown back and forth, Perseus generally being a prat, and our father offering homemade baklava to Harry Potter and his wife, things became, as they say, history.
Since that day, conditions have considerably improved for us. One could call James and me "friends" of sorts ― not those sorts of friends; keep your hair on, you pervert ― and while he does well to remember that I'm his best mate's little sister, I keep in mind that he's more Perseus's sibling than I am sometimes, so we're affable to each other on principle.
He still enjoys teasing me, and at times I can't stand him, but now that we're older, we can at least have a go at each other in a more civilised manner. Any insults we hurl back and forth at each other are primarily friendly, and it's safe to say that I'm considered "one of the blokes," as Perseus puts it.
After all, there are just some things you can't share with your brother and his best mate without ending up sort of liking each other.
Unfortunately, there's still quite a bit that I can't share with those planks, especially when I've gone and had a weird dream about James.
Ugh. I suppose I should fill you in sooner rather than later. I believe it was around the time I was five that I began having strange, vivid dreams that always ended up coming true at some point sooner or later.
At first, my parents brushed it off as indigestion, more hoping than suggesting that my dreams were a result of too much tzatziki sauce with my pita bread. They were wrong, of course.
You can never have too much tzatziki with your pita.
I think they started to believe me when I was six, though. (About the dreams, not the tzatziki.)
I did, however, have a difficult time convincing them that I'd had a dream in which my Yaya Cassiopeia would die from something called a "brain tumour" if we didn't take her to St. Mungo's the next day. When we finally managed to have her studied there (Greeks aren't fond of Healers or modern medicine), the Healers informed us that, had my grandmother not been brought in when she was, they would have caught her treatable brain tumour after it was too late, and she would have been dead within a year. They, of course, worked their magic ― figuratively and literally ― and we were sent home with a healthy, relieved Yaya.
Needless to say, Papa was tearfully grateful that I inadvertently saved his mother's life. Mind you, that man only cries when Greece goes and mucks up their Quidditch World Cup chances.
Papou Cepheus's gratitude, on the other hand, was quiet and utterly sincere in its simplicity, intensified by the joyful tears springing to his eyes as he held his wife and then enveloped me in a bone-crushing hug.
Since then, my family ― just my close family ― has taken me seriously with every dream I've had. The rest of the Theodoridis clan, on the other hand, is much too large and loud and big-haired to be let in on the secret.
If I told the rest of my family about it, I'd practically be informing one-tenth of the Earth's population.
Greeks procreate like blimmin' rabbits, if you didn't already know.
All the same, I reckon I'm lucky as a leaf to have such a lovely family, especially one that cooks so well and doesn't think I'm too strange for having somewhat prophetic dreams.
Granted, Perseus tells me fondly every chance he gets, "'Strea, you must remember, you were already mad before we found out." Then he pats me on the head, saying, "No surprises there, sis," and moseys off.
Charming boy, Perseus is. It's a wonder he hasn't got himself a girlfriend by now.
At least my dreams occur sporadically, and they only transpire when I sleep, so luckily, I've no mortifying situations like Professor Trelawney's from back in the days before the Great War.
Apparently, Harry Potter experienced those occasions firsthand when he was at Hogwarts, during which she would supposedly shift into some sort of freaky-deaky trance, but I personally think Trelawney's gone a bit soft in her old age.
All she does during Divination is flit around the incense-filled room like an overgrown bat, either demanding we drink her tea or telling us to kick the bucket already and get on with it.
In comparison to her theatrical prophecies, though, my dreams are much less dramatic, even a tad boring. They always come true and concern me or someone to whom I'm connected, but they never really follow any patterns. And as far as I know, they're not subject to change, considering the amount of times I've attempted to alter them.
Now, let's just get one thing straight ― I'm by no means a Seer. They really don't exist, and anyone who insists otherwise is clearly on gillyweed.
Really, I'm just a strange, absurdly Greek witch who has dreams that reveal snippets of the future, a nose that could give Lord Nelson a run for his Galleons, and a family so large and loud, Ludo Bagman wouldn't know what hit him.
There is quite a difference, thank you very much.
Honestly, though, I'm still not sure why it happens to me. After I finally explained it all to my Yaya, she looked at me with a rather funny expression on her wrinkled face and told me that I had a great-great-great aunt or something in the family who also had this little problem.
Of course, being an excitable six-year-old, I eagerly asked, "Can I meet her?"
Yaya peered down at me, looking as though she had swallowed one of Perseus's old socks, and averted her gaze. "Sorry, my little asteri. She been missing for quite some time. No one has heard from her."
I tugged at Yaya's sleeve as she began to hurry off. "Why don't we go find her, then?"
"Don't be silly, Astrea," she said rather distantly. "Now, how about I make falafel gyro?"
Of course, when the options were sleuthing my only family connection who could possibly understand what I go through, and my Yaya's falafel gyros, the choice was obvious.
And I enjoyed every bite of those gyros.
At any rate, I've grown to like my dreams, because they're just that ― dreams. At times, they allude to events sprawled far into the future, and at others, they simply refer to something that will happen as soon as the following day. And they're not all premonitions of horrifying things that will happen ― some of the dreams have turned out quite nicely.
My very first dream, in fact, revealed that I would eventually receive a letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Of course, I had no idea that I wouldn't come across the letter until I turned eleven ― sometimes, I wait around for ages for the things shown in my dreams to actually happen ― but when I told my parents of the dream, they just laughed and said they had already surmised as much. They were neither shocked, nor did they suspect anything strange about the dream.
They simply told me to lay off the tzatziki sauce for a while.
But in retrospect, I suppose their lack of surprise makes sense, considering our clan is full of magical blood, and we only have one known Squib in our family.
He's apparently off somewhere in Dubai selling flying carpet insurance, though. We try not to talk about it.
So, to finally return to the previous question, why do I aim to kill James Potter?
Last night, I had a dream about him. He's been in my dreams before, but only ever in the ones about Perseus. Last night's dream, however, was his solo debut. The dream wasn't very long, either. It began innocently enough.
"If you'd all hold off stuffing your faces with cake for a moment, we'll have the newlyweds' first dance, shall we?" said Freddy Weasley jokingly, flicking his wand nonchalantly at the ensemble of now enchanted instruments. There were a few hearty chuckles spread throughout the vicinity, as the keening strains of a bewitched violin and piano lilted sweetly through the perfumed, twilit enclosure, along with the soft sounds of a muted trumpet and clarinet.
I allowed myself a small smile as I recognised the instrumental arrangement of one of my favourite Muggle showtunes.
"May I have this dance?" a familiar voice asked quietly, and I looked up to find a radiant James Potter offering me his hand.
"I thought you'd never ask," I responded happily, unable to keep my face from breaking into a wide grin. Scores of butterflies erupted in my stomach as James beamed at me with the most joy I'd ever seen on his handsome features.
As he laced his fingers through mine and gently pulled me onto the courtyard-turned-dancefloor, guiding me with his free hand on the small of my back, my heart raced and, to distract myself, I glanced around the Weasleys' enchanted backyard, appreciating how the last remaining tendrils of cinnabar, amethyst, and golden sunlight filtered through the tree branches, illuminating the decorations of fragrant flowers and strings of glimmering fairy lights.
My wandering eyes landed on Perseus and Dominique, their hands entwined as they grinned madly at me and each offered a thumbs up. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my father wiping away a tear from my mother's ecstatic face, and behind them, I saw a quivering, exuberant multitude of my extended Greek family. I also managed to discern a shock of bright auburn hair and a head of palest blond, which I knew would be a beaming Rose and Scorpius, but my gaze immediately returned to the breathtaking man in front of me as we came to a halt in the centre of the floor.
Wordlessly, James ran his hand through his casually disheveled hair, his lips curving into another heart-stopping smile, and I found that my breath hitched in my throat as he slipped his warm hand around my waist, as though it were the most natural thing in the world. My blush was instantaneous and I averted my eyes to his chest, smoothing out the collar of his black dress robes and white button-down shirt as we began gliding gracefully in time to the music.
Untangling his hand momentarily from mine, James tilted my chin upward and said, "I know I've told you this already, but you look absolutely, stunningly beautiful."
"Thank you," I murmured, fighting a giddy grin as I fiddled with the bodice of my wedding dress. After all this time, his effect on me was still blush-inducing. "So do you."
I gawked at him, panic-stricken as he began laughing, and buried my heated face into his shoulder. "Thank you, darling," he said cheekily into my ear, kissing my hair.
"Oh, that's not what I meant," I moaned, my voice muffled by his dress robes. "I mean, you are beautiful ― you're the most beautiful man I've ever seen ― obviously, or else I wouldn't have married you ― erm, not that I married you because you're ― oh, sod it, you know what I mean!"
James laughed. "I think I caught the gist of it."
"I bloody well hope so," I mumbled shamefacedly, and James chortled, flawlessly spinning me away from him and twirling me back into his arms, the dream quickly disintegrating....
Suddenly, killing James off seems a just punishment, doesn't it?
Now you're probably agreeing with me. I wouldn't be surprised if you were amassing pitchforks and rallying other concerned wizarding citizens.
Needless to say, I woke up promptly after that disgusting bit of affection and scrabbled around the cluttered surface of my nightstand for my dream journal so violently that I nearly knocked over my inkwell. Once I had snatched a spare quill, I began feverishly recording the dream in my diary, scribbling so rapidly across the fresh parchment that flecks of navy blue ink flew from the page and spattered my cheeks. Mollified, I blew cool air from my lips onto the page, allowing the ink to dry, and shut the journal with a sense of finality.
Then it hit me like a Bludger, sending me back to the present.
I'm going to marry James Potter.
Author's Note: Hi! After a long hiatus, I'm back. Sorry for the lengthy intro chapter. It gets better next chapter, I promise. (I hope.)
To set the record, this is not a Seer story ― I think the fact that Astrea and her family are ridiculously Greek is going to play a much bigger part in the story than the whole "prophetic dreams" bit. (Also, this is my way of poking fun at all those clichéd "Seers with absurd Greek names" stories.)
Anyway, tell me what you liked or disliked, or maybe try your hand at having a prophetic dream and tell me what you think will happen. Thanks for reading!