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Chapter 2 : Athena: The Start
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My life isn’t all studying, you know. Just because I’m clever it doesn’t mean I’m a geek. I mean, yeah, I passed all of my OWLs with “O”s and “E”s and nothing less, but that was just because I studied hard.
Lysander Scamander, one of my best friends, reckons I’m a “child genius”, but I don’t really think so. Yeah, okay, Ravenclaws are smart, but there was one girl who I heard of that finished Hogwarts a couple of years ago that got all “O”s on her exams. That is a child genius.
Plus, I’m smart academically, but Mum says I have no common sense. Which is stupid. And rude.
Apparently I also can’t keep secrets, which used to cause arguments between me and my sisters when we were younger, but I’ve learned to control myself. Sort of.
“Athena, wake up!” Someone shakes my shoulder, but I shrug them off. “First day of school! Busy, busy, busy!”
“Get off,” I mutter, pulling the cover over my head, but whoever it is rips it back.
“Get the hell up, you don’t want to be late on the first day of your last year, do you?”
I open my eyes almost immediately and sit up. My friend Georgie is already dressed. If there’s anyone who likes this school more than I do, it’s Georgie.
“I’m up, I’m up,” I groan, rubbing my eyes. Georgie steps away from my bed to let me get out and soon I’m dressed and awake. I buckle my watch onto my wrist. “It’s nearly eight, we’d better get going.”
I pick up my bag and Georgie and I leave the dormitory, but not before Alissa Davies, Roger Davies and Marietta Edgecombe’s daughter, speaks up.
“Remember not to get too heated when you nerds are studying up here, okay? I don’t want to come in here and catch you making out on your bed, Theney.” She smirks at me.
“Who did you buy that lingerie for, Lissy? Was it Jenna? Because you’re definitely not getting any action anywhere else.” I snap. Alissa’s mouth drops open and her best friend Jenna, who’s basically her minion, purses her lips at me. “Have a nice day!”
Georgie’s Muggle-born and a couple of years ago, her girlfriend came to meet her at King’s Cross when we came back for the summer. Alissa saw them kiss and hold hands and she won’t drop it. Everyone’s cool with Georgie being who she is, but Alissa’s too immature and homophobic to let it go.
“Thank you,” Georgie says to me quietly as we make our way down to the Great Hall.
“No problem,” I say, smiling. “Alissa is such a bitch, don’t listen to anything she says.”
“Isn’t that Aphrodite?” Georgie points out a girl slumped against the wall near the staircase down to the dungeons.
“Aphrodite? What are you doing?” I kneel next to her and shake her shoulder. My sister moans and lifts her head. “Are you hungover? Already?”
“There was a party last night,” she slurs, pressing a hand to her forehead. “My head hurts.”
“Ugh, get up, you asshole.” Georgie and I pull her to her feet and start helping her towards the Hall.
“Wait!” She screams and pulls a mirror out of her bag. “It’s okay, I still look flawless.” I roll my eyes and we manage to get her into the Hall and sit her down next to Nate.
“Is she drunk?” he asks.
“Hungover. Make sure she drinks a lot of coffee and at least three pieces of toast. That’s usually how she deals with hangovers.” I tell him before Georgie and I leave the Slytherin table for the Ravenclaw one.
Des Weekes, probably the shiftiest guy in our year, leans over the table towards me.
“So I heard the NEWTs are going to be a shitload harder than they usually are this year.” I raise my eyebrows at him as I pick up a waffle. “You’re probably going to have to start studying at Christmas, or maybe even right now.”
“Is that right?” I pour pumpkin juice into my goblet and take a sip as Des nods, looking completely serious.
“Yep. So like, over the summer I managed to get these tablets that can really help you in your exams. Specifically NEWTs, because they’re going to be really hard this year.”
“Des, I really don’t intend on becoming a crackhead in my last year, especially not before my NEWTs. So thanks, but no thanks.” It’s second nature for me to turn down Des’s weird addicting steroid-filled tablets that he claims have magical qualities and can help you with anything life throws at you, but he’s never disheartened by it.
“C’mon, Athena, everyone knows how stressful NEWTs can be. Even you’re going to struggle with it.” He pats my hand. “Let me know if you change your mind.”
As soon as he leaves, Georgie gags.
“That guy is shifty as hell. He’s so weird.”
“Tell me about it.”
“How many classes are you taking this year?” Georgie lifts her head as she sees Professor Corner, the head of Ravenclaw, handing out timetables to the students.
“Quite a few. I dropped Divination because I wanted to take Alchemy this year, but it’s still enough to keep me busy.”
Professor Corner approaches us and hands me my timetable with a smile. “You’re taking a lot of classes, Athena. Are you sure you’ll be able to cope with it all?”
“Sir, if there’s anyone who can cope with this many classes, it’s Athena.” Georgie points out and Professor Corner nods in agreement. He hands Georgie her timetable and moves away. We compare timetables and see that we have Potions first.
Professor Baxter greets us with a smile on her face. This year there are only seven of us in the class, one of which is my sister Demeter. We file into the classroom and sit four to a table – me, Georgie, Demeter and her friend Darren. As we’re unpacking our bags, Lukas McLaggen, who’s the only Slytherin in here, leans over to Demeter.
“You know, I’m actually surprised you managed to get into this class. I didn’t think you had the brains for it,” he hisses, loud enough for nearly everyone to hear. Then he laughs to himself as Demeter presses her lips together and her cheeks turn red. She looks like she’s going to burst into tears and I slam my bag to the floor.
“Hey, Lukas?” He looks up at me. “It’s an even bigger surprise that you’re here, seeing as your head is so far up your ass most of the time. I’d have thought all you could see was your own shit instead of what’s actually going on.”
McLaggen’s face contorts into a scowl and he turns his back on me and sits down.
Demeter smiles at me gratefully and I smile back. Despite the fact that my sisters and I hardly ever get along, we’ve always had this unspoken agreement to beat the shit out of anyone who tries to mess with any of us. Huh. I guess having three sisters really does have its perks.
Throughout the course of the lesson, I can see McLaggen turning around to make snide comments in Demeter’s direction and I make a promise to myself to punch him in the throat at the nearest opportunity. My sister keeps dropping her equipment whenever he says something, which makes him laugh even more.
For the hour of the lesson, we’re supposed to start working on our Polyjuice Potions, which were apparently only learnt by seventh year NEWT students and when they were ready, we were going to be checked on our way out to make sure we weren’t trying to smuggle any out. We had ten minutes left to complete the first part of the process and I’ve been done for five minutes, but I can see that Demeter is struggling.
After quickly checking that Professor Baxter isn’t looking, I shuffle round the table to help Demeter. At first she looks glad, but then McLaggen turns around and starts sniggering.
“I don’t need your help,” Demeter says loudly, “I can manage fine on my own.” McLaggen laughs and Demeter tries to push me away from her table.
“I don’t need your help.” She grits her teeth and starts working, turning her back on McLaggen. I feel bad for embarrassing her, but McLaggen would have laughed at her for not finishing either.
By the end of the lesson, Demeter looks like she’s about to burst into tears. I want to hug her, but McLaggen’s laughing behind her and I know that hugging her will only make things worse. This whole thing is giving me a headache.
As Georgie and I leave, I press a hand to my forehead.
“You okay?” Georgie asks.
“Yeah. Just tired. McLaggen is such an idiot.”
“Hey, Demeter can handle herself, I’m sure.”
“I sure hope so.”
All I can hear is the sound of the fire crackling in the fireplace and my quill scratching against parchment. It’s only the first day and I already have two pieces of homework – one for Muggle Studies and one for Defence Against the Dark Arts.
I’m pretty sure everyone else is asleep, but I want to keep up with my homework and not fall behind. I made that mistake in fifth year when I was focused on studying for the OWLs. This year I’m determined to stay ahead of homework and still be able to put in time for studying when it gets closer to the time.
My head is pounding and my throat is dry but I have to finish this essay. It’s on Muggle mechanics – how they power cars and aeroplanes. It’s making my head hurt but I’m nearly done. I glance up at the clock mounted on the wall. Half past three.
I set my quill down on the table and move the parchment out of the way, resting my head on the wood. I’m just going to rest my eyes for a minute, just until this headache goes away.
Then suddenly, someone pats my shoulder. I sit upright, rubbing the back of my neck and wincing.
“You okay there?” Des Weekes smirks at me.
“What? What time is it?” I rub my eyes and run a hand through my hair.
“It’s nearly seven. Have you been down here all night?”
“Shit!” I gather up my things and push past him to get to the dorms. I bump into Lysander on the way. He looks at me, alarmed.
“Athena? Are you okay?”
“Y-yeah, I’m fine. I think I was sleepwalking or something. I’m fine.” I manage to get past him and into the dorms. None of the other girls are up yet, which gives me time to slide inside my bed and shut my eyes to pretend I was asleep this whole time. Minutes later, I wake up again and move the hangings away from my bed to look at my watch. It’s quarter past seven and I can hear the girls getting dressed, so I get out of bed, yawning and stretching.
Georgie doesn’t ask any questions in front of Alissa and Jenna, but as soon as we’re on our way to the Great Hall, she says,
“Okay, where the hell were you last night? I was up until like, twelve and you were nowhere to be seen. What were you doing?”
“Oh, sorry. I was doing my homework in the common room and I must have fallen asleep at the table or something. I’m just trying to keep up.” I shrug, trying to brush it off. “Anyway, did you hear Alissa snoring? She sounds like a dragon with a chesty cough.” I laugh, but Georgie looks at me disbelievingly.
“I cannot believe you’re already staying up to do homework. It’s only the second day!”
“We’re doing our NEWTs this year. I don’t want to fall behind on studying because I have homework to catch up on.” I try to reason with her, but she’s not having it.
We sit down at the table and Georgie starts spreading butter on a piece of toast.
I’m about to do the same when I glance up and see someone walking into the Hall. I stand up quickly and Georgie looks at me questioningly.
“I’ll be right back. I – uh, have to talk to Demeter about something.” I explain quickly, before hurrying towards the doors.
“Athena! Did you change your mind about my offer?”
“Listen, I don’t want your shitty mind-steroid drugs or whatever. Do you have anything to help me stay awake?”
AN: So like??? This is an actual update??? No, your eyes are not deceiving you, this is a real chapter. It’s been nearly a year since the last chapter??? I’m so so so sorry omg, I’ve been sooo busy it’s unreal and I completely forgot about writing. But hopefully I’ll be able to start updating more regularly (lol) and I think I’m going to pay most of my attention to this story.
Anyway, I wanted to say that some of you have said that Athena’s storyline seems kind of boring and I know this chapter probably was a one-way ticket to Snoozeville and it was kind of short, but I promise that things are going to heat up in the next few Athena chapters, so I hope you’ll bear with me with them. Leave a review below and tell me what you thought of the chapter and I definitely think the next chapter will be up in a bit (: x
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