Chapter 1 : Aphrodite: Welcome to Hell
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Chapter One – Aphrodite: Welcome to Hell
You know, some people think they’ve got it bad. But when your mother’s name is Pleoine and your surname is Hesperid (yeah, that’s right, my mother’s name is Pleoine Hesperid. Do you get it now why I worry about my mental health?) and you’ve got three other sisters and you’re all named after Greek goddesses, I’d say I’ve got it worse.
First of all, I’d like to say that my mother is crazy. She has this weird obsession with Greek mythology just because of her name. Her actual surname isn’t Hesperid, but she legally changed it and now me and my sisters are stuck with it.
My name is Aphrodite (stop laughing or I’ll kick your face) and my sisters are called Athena, Artemis and Demeter. Now, usually siblings are put in the same house, but the four of us were separated: I was put into Slytherin, Athena into Ravenclaw, Artemis went to Gryffindor and poor old Demeter was left to go to Hufflepuff. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not that Athena was put into the smart house and the Greek goddess Athena was goddess of wisdom and all. Mum said that “from the moment my four beautiful goddesses were born, I knew immediately what they’d be like. My darling Athena would be clever, precious Demeter would be into agriculture, my lovely Artemis would be brave and Aphrodite would be the most beautiful of them all.”
My sisters were all like, “Thanks, Mum, you think we’re all ugly.”
To tell you the truth, everyone calls me beautiful, but I never really flaunt it. I’ve got long dark hair and blue eyes, which is a nice combination, but I’m not really anything special.
JOKING! I know I’m beautiful and I have a lot of admirers at Hogwarts. It can get tiring, but the attention is nice sometimes. I mean, when I like a guy, I just use my clever Slytherin-like cunning and Aphrodite-like beauty to get him. Meh, it’s just what I do.
We all look similar. The only difference is that Athena and I have blue eyes like Mum and Demeter and Artemis have dark eyes like our dad. He’s not around anymore, but we see him sometimes with his new bimbo.
Artemis is on the Gryffindor Quidditch team as Seeker. She says she’s the best, and nobody argues because she’ll probably punch their lights out. She’s quite popular (not as much as me, of course) she’s known throughout Hogwarts as the girl with the violent streak.
Athena got “Outstanding” on, like, every OWL she took and is aiming to do the same on her NEWTs. Literally all she does is study, study, study.
Demeter used to get bullied, just because she was in Hufflepuff, which is kind of dumb, and nobody would listen to her when she said Hufflepuffs weren’t thickos. Ever since third year she’s been determined to prove to people that Hufflepuffs deserve respect as much as the other houses do. It’s sort of pointless because nobody pays any attention to her, but Demeter is one determined girl.
I guess the problems usually start when we all start growing up, but trust me, our problems started way before that. Probably when we were born and our mother called us Aphrodite, Athena, Artemis and Demeter.
“Oi!” A loud, piercing shout rings through the house. “WHO TOOK MY HAIRBRUSH?”
Artemis comes leaping down the stairs, her dark eyes flashing and her fists raised. “Aphrodite, where’s my hairbrush?”
Aphrodite, where’s my hairbrush? I don’t know why but the line makes me start laughing, and once I start, I can’t stop.
“Arty, darling, your hairbrush is on your dresser where you left it last night.” Mum says from the kitchen. Oh, great. I double over, clutching my stomach, my eyes creased with silent laughter as Artemis shoots me an evil glare and stalks back up the stairs.
I love my life. No, seriously. My sisters love me so much.
I’m caught by surprise when someone jumps on my back and flattens me to the floor.
“Seventh year! Woot! One more year then we’re freee!”
“Demeter …” I groan, “get off me, you weirdo,”
Demeter giggles like a drunk and gets off. She stands there, nibbling her nails and laughing randomly. She’s always like this on the first day back.
Artemis comes storming down the stairs again, holding her hairbrush. She drags her trunk out from under the pile and kicks it open. She throws down the hairbrush and slams the lid shut. She’s in a very bad mood. None of us dare to ask why.
Demeter, Artemis and I sit down at the dining table and Mum brings out four bowls of porridge.
“Oh, dear, where’s Theney?” The three of us snigger at Athena’s stupid nickname, but Mum shoots us a look and we fall silent. I can hear footsteps on the stairs and Athena walks in with her nose already buried in a book.
“Whatcha reading, Theney?” Artemis asked, smirking.
Athena glares at her. “Shut up and eat your porridge, Arty,” she snaps. “Or I’ll thump you with my book.” She waves the volume, which looks very thick and very boring.
Artemis shut up and eats her porridge. After breakfast, Mum makes us look over our trunks to check we’ve got everything.
Once this is done, we pull on our coats and bundle into Mum’s old Ford.
It’s very hot in the car even with all four windows rolled down. Demeter gets to sit up front while Athena, Artemis and I are squished in the back. After three long hours in the car, we arrive at King’s Cross with ten minutes until the train leaves. We burst out of the car, gasping for air.
Soon we are on Platform 9 ¾ saying goodbye to Mum. Athena’s long gone, having said bye and run off with her geeky friends. Demeter’s looking round anxiously for her fellow protesters/Hufflepuff “rights campaigners” and rushes off to look for them. Artemis sees Albus Potter, who she hates, coming our way, turns bright red and jumps onto the train. I’m left alone with our mother who is sobbing into a handkerchief.
“Um … see you at Christmas, Mum,” I say, giving her a hug. “Oh, look, there’s Scorpius and Cara. Bye!” I quickly get onto the train while she’s distracted. I lug my trunk along, looking for my best friends Scorpius Malfoy and Cara Nott. I find them in a compartment with the Wotters and Artemis.
I usually find myself hanging around with these people because Scorpius is also one of Albus’s best friends and also Rose’s boyfriend. Artemis is best friends with Rose and Alice, who are also here. Cara has a huuuuge crush on Fred Weasley, not that she’d ever admit it to her dad, Theodore Nott. I think Fred knows, but he’s either too embarrassed to talk about it or he doesn’t know.
I settle myself between Cara and Rose, who I like.
“You look pretty,” Rose says, looking at my hair.
“Thanks,” I say, twirling the ends. “So do you.” Usually I’m not sure if I like red hair or not, but on Rose it looks very nice. I can see why Scorpius likes her.
The train starts crawling down the track, then picks up speed and suddenly the countryside is zooming past.
“So how’s Demeter getting on with her ‘Hufflepuffs aren’t dumb!’ campaign going?” Scorpius asks me, smirking. I glare at him for a moment because he used to bully her, but say,
“She’s got a load of new ideas. Spent like, the whole summer shut up in her room planning. We thought she was turning into Athena,”
Artemis shudders. “Ugh. One smartass is enough in one house. Two would be unbearable.”
“I forgot you were sisters. And Demeter and Athena too.” Fred says casually, as if everyone had forgotten. We all stare at him. “What? It’s easy to forget!”
“I wish we weren’t sisters,” I say, “then I wouldn’t have such a dumb surname as ‘Hesperid’.”
Artemis snorts. “Ha! Nobody wishes that more than me. ‘Artemis Hesperid’. I mean, calling your child that is like prophesying their future as a cert for being bullied.”
“I quite like the name ‘Artemis’,” Al says. Artemis blushes profusely, her cheeks burning red, and I look at her suspiciously. She never usually blushes when people compliment her. Mostly she just punches them and tells them to shut up.
“Can I call you Arty?” Al asks. Artemis’s eyes harden and the red tinge edges back down her neck.
“No!” Just in case he didn’t get the message, she slaps him. He looks unperturbed, which makes me think she does this a lot. I notice Dom, Al’s cousin, is looking at Artemis too, as if she’s noticed what I did. Then she shakes her head and returns to looking in the mirror and checking her hair and makeup. I like Dom, but she’s really vain. I think she’d be better off in Slytherin.
The compartment door slides open and a boy in Hufflepuff with huge light blue eyes and spots walks in. I know him – he’s not one of Demeter’s protesters, but they’re friends, I think.
“Um … uh …” he stammers, looking at me. “Hello, Aphrodite.”
“Hello, Simon,” I sigh. He follows me around everywhere begging for attention, rather like his uncle, Colin Creevey, used to do with Al’s dad.
“H-how are you today?”
“I’m fine, thank you,” I reply, reaching across Rose to elbow Scorpius, who is sniggering. It can get a bit annoying when Simon follows me, but he’s very sweet and I do like him (even if the other Slytherins don’t). “You?”
Simon lets out a high-pitched giggle. “I can’t believe Aphrodite Hesperid is talking to me!” Then he covers his mouth, as if he wasn’t supposed to say that. “I’ll, um, go now.” He runs out, shutting the door behind him.
Scorpius snorts, then bursts out laughing. “’Dite’s got an admirer!”
“Don’t call me ‘Dite’, Hyperion.” He stops laughing and glowers at me. “And anyway, I’ve got tons more admirers than you do.”
“Pfft. We both know that’s a lie. I’m such a lady killer.” He strikes a noble pose.
“The only admirer you’ve got is Rose,” Molly Weasley says, smirking.
“Yeah, and Aphrodite’s sister Athena,” Scorpius says, as if he’s really proud of this. Artemis and I look at each other.
“The only thing Athena admires is books,” Artemis says, “oh, and that really hot geek guy – whatshisname,”
“Luke Davies,” I say, “Roger Davies and Marietta Edgecombe’s son,”
“That’s the one,” Artemis says, “she’s had a crush on him since she found out he passed all his OWLs.”
“Athena is so weird,” Scorpius says. “Okay, Demeter then,”
“Demeter hates you,” Al says, “since you bullied her. Remember? She turned you into a stoat. It was really funny,”
Scorpius glares at him. “No it wasn’t,”
“It was,” everyone else says.
“Especially since your dad got turned into a ferret,” I say.
“Haha,” Scorpius says sarcastically, “gosh, you’re hilarious. My sides are splitting.”
“No need to be nasty,” I say, giggling.
“Fine, so maybe Rose is my only admirer. So what? She’s the only admirer I need,” Scorpius says, putting his arm around Rose.
“Aw, you’re too sweet,” Rose gushes, kissing him. Al and Fred make these weird gagging noises and pretend to be sick. Rose shoots her cousins a death stare and continues kissing Scorpius. To be honest, being named after the goddess of love and all, I don’t mind, but after a while it gets a bit tedious, what with all the kissy noises and stuff.
“Ugh, get a room, you two,” Artemis finally says. “Seriously, I’m going to barf here.”
When they don’t, Artemis pushes up the window and leans her head out, making retching noises. I’m not sure if she’s actually puking or not, but it sure is realistic. My sister really is quite the actress. We all are. We get it from our dad. Stupid man-bitch.
“NEWTs this year,” Fred groans. “I’m going to fail them all, I can tell.”
“Don’t worry, Freddie,” Alice Longbottom says, grinning at him, “you won’t fail as spectacularly as you did with your OWLs.”
“I hope not,” Fred says, “Mum was really upset I only got three OWLs. But Dad was fine – he got three as well. Meh.”
The compartment door slides open again and in walks Cara’s twin brother Nathan. He’s also my boyfriend, and he hates the fact that I’ve got so many followers/admirers/stalkers. He wiggles his way between Cara and I, throws an arm over my shoulders and kisses me.
“Oh – God, please, don’t!” Artemis screams at us. “Nathan, I swear if you start snogging her I will kick you so hard you’ll –”
“Okay!” Nate says, raising his hands in surrender. “Jeez, Arty, don’t be so violent!”
Nate’s about the only person who can get away with calling my sister “Arty”, but only because we’ve known the Notts for so long. After the end of the Second War, Theo (Cara and Nathan’s dad) decided to give up his Death Eater-y ways and decided to follow Draco Malfoy and start being good. He eventually made up with Al’s and Rose’s parents. My mother was Slytherin herself – but wasn’t as rude or plain Slytherin-ish as the others – so she was good friends with Theo and I’ve known Nate and Cara since they were in nappies.
Still, Artemis’s eyes narrow and she raises a fist.
A group of sixth-year Slytherin boys walk past. One of them points into the compartment at me. The other four grin and the one that pointed slides the door open. Nate puts his arm around me and tightens his grip.
“Who are you?” he demands.
The boys ignore him. “So, Aphrodite, we’re throwing a party later in the common room and it’d be great if you could join us.” The one that spoke has slick black hair and grey eyes.
“Uh … I guess …”
“On the first night?” Alice says. “We’ve got to study – we’ve got NEWTs in June!” (Alice is kind of obsessed with studying)
“I’m coming too,” Nate insists.
The black haired boy raises an eyebrow. “Whatever. See you later, Aphrodite!” The five boys wave and leave. As soon as they’re gone, Nate relaxes.
“Are you sure you want to go, Aphrodite?” he asks me. He sounds tense.
“I’ll probably just hang around for ten minutes. It’ll probably be boring anyway.” I assure him. “And besides, you’ll be there, won’t you? Don’t worry.”
Pfft. I’m so stupid. I guess Alice is right, but, me being me, I nearly always put boys before school. That’s probably why my seventh year is going to turn out to be hell.
“So, Aphrodite, you still up for the party?” says the black-haired boy who invited me earlier. I’m at the feast right now, and I find myself wedged tightly between Nate and this boy.
“I suppose.” I say, shrugging.
“Cool beans!” says the boy. Nate, Cara, Scorpius and I stare at him. Nobody says “cool beans” anymore … I don’t think. “My name’s Ron, by the way.”
Scorpius and Nate snort at the same time.
“You think my name’s funny?” Ron demands.
“Dude,” Scorpius laughs, “my girlfriend’s dad is called Ron.”
Ron looks horrified. “D-did I say Ron? I meant –”
“Ronald,” Nate says. “Or Ronnie, perhaps?” Ron glares, looking worried, like he thinks I won’t come to his party just because his name is Ron. Shoot, he could be called Humbert Wagglebutt and I’d come. I wouldn’t turn down a party, me.
“Stop it,” I say to Nate, pinching his arm. He pulls a face at me, which he does all the time, and continues eating his roast dinner.
“What time does the party start?” I ask Ron, who looks relieved that I’m still talking to him.
“After dinner. Liam, Rich and Toby are going to sneak into the kitchens and get a load of food for you – I mean, the party.” Ron tells me. “Y’know, Butterbeer, cakes, Firewhisky …”
“At least ninety-five per cent of the house isn’t old enough to drink Firewhisky, Ron,” I say.
“Hey, you only live once!” Ron chuckles. Cara raises her eyebrow. “What are you staring at, bitch?”
“It’s not cool or smart to say that, Ronnie,” Cara snaps.
“Piss off. Who the hell are you anyway?” Ron asks, looking furious.
“She’s my best friend,” I say, my eyebrows coming together. “Don’t talk to Cara like that,”
“Cara … as in, Cara Nott?” Ron asks. She nods. He turns the colour of off-milk. It’s rather amusing. “Oh … uh … sorry! Want to come to the party, too?”
Cara scowls at him. “No, thanks. I’ve got better things to do.” I know she’s just saying it because she’s annoyed that Ron called her a bitch and told her to piss off. Frankly, I’m annoyed too. Hey, nobody talks to my bezzie like that!
During the feast, Ron keeps me talking so much I can hardly eat. Nate and Scorpius are looking pissed off too, like there’s some little bug that won’t go away. I’m getting a little irritated too. Finally one of Ron’s friends tells him to stop being so obsessive and he stops talking.
The four of us look relieved. When the feast is over, I leave the Hall quickly to avoid Ron and his nattering. Nate, Scorpius, Cara and I make our way down to the Slytherin Common Room. Cara’s wearing her brand-new Head Girl badge and says the password to the stone wall:
“Salazar.” It seems a bit obvious, but the wall slides open and we walk inside.
Greenish light fills the common room. It feels good to be back, but not for long because Ron and one of his friends run inside and start whooping.
“Let’s get this party started!”
Cara rolls her eyes. “I still think you’re stupid to come to this dumb thing,” she mutters to me.
“How bad can it be?” I ask her.
Ugh, I am so naïve.
AN: GAAAAAAAH A NEW STORY! I had this idea a couple of months ago and I thought I might write this. Every chapter will be in the POV of one of the sisters, focusing on each of their own problems. Let me know what you thought in a review :) (I am seriously digging my own grave here with so many stories needing updating)