Cassiope opened one letter from the pile that came from her homeland in Greece. She read the content with her eyes opening wider after every paragraph. She let the letter drop on the table and zoned out for a few moments looking at some bookshelves. Hermione Granger was studying at the table next to her. Books about houselves were spread everywhere around her. She opened a very dusty book and sneezed and that was the time when she noticed Cassiope sitting unmoved with her mouth open and her eyes nailed at the empty space between two bookshelves. Hermione filled with curiosity, stood up, and touched Cassiope on the shoulder.
''Cassiope are you alright? You seem a bit unfazed...'' she said in a low voice. She didn't want Madame Pince to throw her out.
In the sound of someone else's voice and touch on her shoulder, Cassiope jumped in surprise and nodded quickly at Hermione that she was alright. Hermione hesitated a few moments, but she got the message that Cassiope wanted to stay alone with her notes. She briefly got some words like Ancient Magic and Josef Mengele. Why Cassiope was reading about such a horrible Muggle person? What does he have to do with Ancient Magic? Her curiosity was picked but soon she decided that she had more important things to search for and locked her thoughts in the back of her mind. Cassiope once she saw that Hermione had bend over her books and notes again, she picked up the letter again and started re-reading the letter in Greek.
Dear Miss Culuriote,
I am sad to hear that a student with your curiosity and academic stature chose to attend a wizarding school outside of our lovely country. I checked with the YPMA though to see that your name wasn't recorded in our list as a magical child. It was though in the Ministry of Magic in Britain.
Besides my bitterness on that fact, I decided to help you with your research on Ancient Magic as something we Greeks still practice on some level. Inside this envelope you will find records of rituals of Ancient Magic and some recorded spells. Alongside these records you will find a copy of a page that belongs in my personal collection. This page was part of the journal of the known explorer and researcher Antony Fraser. He disappeared on the 23rd of July 1967 from the town of Preveza and was found three months later close to the Necromancy temple of Acheron. The only thing that he had on him was this page in one of his pockets.
On that page, you will find mentions of the Sanctuary of Delphi. The notes were written in 1967. These days the Sanctuary is used as a school for postgraduate studies on Divination and the high-oracle is Ypatia. You can contact her if you need more information.
I hope that you will spend some time in a future meeting and cooperation.
Headmaster of Atlantis School of Magical Studies
21st of July 1967
One of the great mysteries of our world is where magical people came from. We can find magical references as far as some thousands of years ago. To give an example, Circe was a recorded witch in Greece with talent in Transfiguration. The first recorded wizarding school was the Sanctuary of Delphi where students were learning about the peculiar art of Divination. The school is still open and one of their many courses has to do with Ancient Magic.
Although the modern magical community has dismissed Ancient Magic as unpredictable and dangerous, the Sanctuary of Delphi has it as one of its primary courses. You may wonder why, as I did. In one of my many conversations with the High Oracle of the school, Aspasia, she gave me the impression that they believe in an unusual theory. Below I quote her words.
''People with closed eyes think they are special. They don't see around them that they are not the only ones with magical abilities. They dismiss magical creatures as lower than them. The only thing they do is dismissing themselves as we are all the same and if we could cooperate, we could achieve great things. Experiments have been made through time either by will or by mistake with human-like creatures and the results, most of the time, were magnificent.''
Going further into a discussion with her, I realized that she believed this: Wizards and witches were magical creatures that through time developed in another way. She stated that fact by supporting the known existence of other human-like creatures like the Veelas, the Banshees, and the Mermaids. In conclusion, wizards can procreate with them like it has happened so many times with Veelas. That has to be the part of the ''by mistake'' procreation.
I can't help though, but think, after my recent findings, about Josef Mengele. He was a supporter of Gellert Grindelwald and he was known for doing experiments on Muggle and magical twins in order to understand the connection between them and their special abilities like Cryptophasia. What isn't known to common people, were the experiments he did on magical procreation with other creatures...
Cassiope picked up her notes and parchments frustrated and decided to go for dinner. Thousands of thoughts were pounding her mind that she couldn't even think her own name. She sighed and headed to the Great Hall. A little bit before she reached the first floor, she heard Draco exchanging insults with Harry and Ron about their mothers. Seriously? How old are they? she thought but she couldn't stop the sudden gasp for air. She was ready to continue her way when she spotted Alastor Moody coming. In her mind, something was off with him. In a strange way, he had an aura of death around him. She saw him lifting his wand, screaming ''Don't you dare!'' and he transformed Draco into a ferret. He started beating him on the floor. She got mad. She drew her wand and flicked it towards Draco, transforming him back to human the moment Mc Gonagall appeared. She saw Moody looking at her with his magical eye but his other one was occupied by looking to McGonagall, who was scolding him for his behavior.
She helped Draco to his feet. He was ready to throw some threat to Moody, she knew, so the moment he opened his mouth, she smacked him on the back of his head, bringing her finger to her lips to shush him. She urged him to follow her before he got a detention. Once they were close to the dungeons, Cassiope didn't realize that she was still holding her wand up, ready to attack. Instead of doing that though, she started producing her known ribbons.
''Are you kidding me Malfoy? What kind of behavior was that? Insulting your mothers? Attacking from the back? With Moody on the picture? Are you serious?''
''Hey! Don't blame only me! They said things about my mother too!'' he said waving his hands over his head in frustration.
''And did I say that they were better?'' Cassiope rubbed her face in surrender. ''You know what? Why do I care? I just thought that Draco this morning was better than the actual Draco. Suit yourself.''
She made a move to leave but Draco caught her arm again. ''Don't you dare leave again Cassiope! Yes, I found out your name, don't look at me like that. Do you think I am stupid? What do you want me to say? I am sorry? I am not sorry for insulting Weasel and Potter because I have my reasons which you don't know. I am sorry though that I fell in your eyes as it seems. But I am not the only one with hidden agendas so please, can you tell me why in the name of Merlin don't you talk to me or anyone for that matter but you sing to a damn ghost?''
''Don't you speak about Myrtle like that! She is more than what meets the eye!'' she wrote with her angry face trying to pull out her arm from his grasp. He didn't lessen his hold though so after sighing in resignation she wrote ''Bad things happen when I speak or when I am sad. I can speak to ghosts because they are already dead and nothing can harm them. I can sing without anything happening, at least as far as I know.''
''Why is that happening?'' he asked in curiosity.
On that question, Cassiope got angrier and pulled her arm with force. She saw him stumbling, but nevertheless he lifted his hands in surrender. ''Okay I am sorry!!! Obviously you don't know and that is where you draw the line. I promise I won't ask again until you will be ready to tell me.''
''And what makes you think that I would like to talk to you in the future?'' she snapped in her own way.
Malfoy gave her a sinister smirk. He lifted her hand and kissed her knuckles. ''Oh I am sure about that Cassiope. Like you, I am named after a constellation. I shine bright to differ.'' he said and left her dumbfounded.
Cassiope was still shocked by the Slytherin boy's ways. She didn't understand how she reached the Great Hall, how she found herself sitting at her usual spot in the corner, how she was already eating some shepherd's pie. She lifted her eyes to look at the Slytherin's table and found Malfoy smirking at her. Oh damn... She decided to eat quickly and leave for the library. Malfoy had cleared her head enough and she wanted to check the other notes and records she had in case she could find something useful on those experiments.
When she reached the library, she sat on a table and spread her parchments and notes on it. Cassiope pulled out the headmaster's letter and turned the page from Antony Fraser's journal in case there was something else written on the back. She searched every record she had in front of her. She only found stuff about rituals and spells. Frustrated she closed everything and packed her bag. It was almost closed to curfew and she needed to take a shower to relax before going to bed. Hermione though, who was once again working on her books about houselves, caught up with her and linked her arm with hers.
''Why were you looking about Josef Mengele at noon?'' she asked and Cassiope turned her head to look at her so fast that a crack echoed in the corridor.
''He was a bad man that during the Second World War of Muggles, did horrible experiments on kids. I don't understand how that has to do with our studies'' she continued.
Cassiope once more pulled her wand out ''He was a wizard and supporter of Geller Grindelwald. And I am looking at some things about Ancient Magic.''
Hermione stayed silent after that until they reached the portrait of Fat Lady. She muttered the password and both girls headed for their dorm. They put on their pajamas and while they were tacking themselves under the duvets, Hermione lifted her head and looked into Cassiope's eyes.
''Hey, I know that we are not friends, but if you ever need any help with anything, just let me know. Okay?'' she said softly. Cassiope just nodded kindly and turned her back on her.
The tired girl thought about her recent findings, Draco Malfoy's attitude, and her father's letter. She spent some time deciding if she should answer it or not. After a while, though she decided that this was something to leave for another day and drifted to a dreamless sleep.
Cassiope was intrigued to say the list for the upcoming lesson with Alastor Moody. She still didn't like him. And not because of his deformed face, she was not the one to judge a book by its cover, but because of his aura. So when Thursday came, she gathered with the rest of Gryffindors and Slytherins outside his classroom before the bell even sounded.
When everyone was seated. Alastor Moody came in and started reading their names from a catalog. Every time someone was hearing his name, he had to stand up. So when her time came professor looked at her.
''Cassiane Culuriote?'' he asked and she stood up. ''Oh, the girl that doesn't speak. Don't expect that I will do you any favors because of your disability. Although as you can see you are a master in Transfiguration and interfering in other people's cases.'' Cassiope threw him a nasty look. ''Sit down girl'' he ordered and she obeyed in annoyance.
He started talking about the Unforgivable Curses and their powers as long as their history and the problems each one created during the First War. She didn't know much about the later but she still didn't pay much attention to what he was saying. What good it would do to me to listen to the effects when I am an Unforgivable Curse myself? she thought. She just felt sorry about poor Neville Longbottom because when he heard about the Crusiatus Curse, he was ready to faint. After a while, Moody ordered them to keep notes as he continued giving them information on the Curses.
After the course she left for the Great Hall along the rest of the Gryffindors and the Slytherins. She ate quickly like Hermione and she stood up at the same time with her. They exchanged a look and it was all that she needed to know. They were both heading to the library. As she was coming out of the Great Hall, she felt a familiar hand grabbing her arm. A little bit more of his habit and she will bruise like a peach.
''It was horrible how Mad-Eye treated you. Do you want me to tell my father and have him kicked out?'' Draco said with a worried face but Cassiope's frustration didn't lessen. She rolled her eyes and slapped her forehead on the young man's ignorance and waved to Hermione to wait for her.
After searching in the Restriction Section for what seemed like hours she met at the table with Hermione. She showed her her notes about something called SPEW. Cassiope looked at her curiously and Hermione explained that it was for the rights of Houselves. Cassiope thought it was a lost cause but contributed as a member anyway. The girls returned to the Gryffindor tower to find Ron and Harry studying Divination. Cassiope waved her goodnight and headed for the girls' dorm when Harry Potter got and owl. He quickly unfolded the small paper to find his godfather's writing.
I'm flying north immediately. This news about your scar is the latest in a series of strange rumors that have reached me here. If it hurts again, go straight to Dumbledore -they're saying he's got Mad-Eye out of retirement, which means he's reading the signs, even if no one else is. Please do something without asking any questions. Keep an eye on Cassiope Culuriote. She might be in danger like you.
I'll be in touch soon. My best to Ron and Hermione. Keep your eyes open Harry.
The boy hit his hand on his table mad with his own stupidity. But one thing stood out from the letter. Cassiope Culuriote was in danger. But why? Thank Merlin though, the girl remained ignorant, fast asleep in her bed.
A few weeks came by and Cassiope still hadn't replied to her father's letter. She didn't know what to say. Myrtle was pestering her to answer it and at least get some answers. She was often founding herself looking at the blonde woman holding the baby in the picture. It was somewhat calming her.
She had noticed that she couldn't stay alone easily. Someone was always with her. Whether it was Hermione who liked going to the library with her or accompanying her in the corridors, whether it was Harry and Ron walking behind her. As a person used to live alone, it was starting to get really annoying. On the other hand, Draco couldn't stop looking at her and trying to approach her. He was always next to her during Care of Magical Creatures making small chat on his own while they were both trying not to get burned from the skrewts. He asked Snape to move him so he will sit beside her during Potions and he was always looking at her during the meals. At first, she thought he will stop if she just ignored him. She tried that during the other lessons and during the meals she would sit with her back at the Slytherin table but to no avail. She could still feel him looking at her.
One day during the Defence Against Dark Arts, Moody announced that they will start practicing on the Imperius Curse. For a moment, Cassiope freaked, thinking that he will make them use it on one another. But they will only have to learn how to break them. She saw her fellow classmates do all kinds of funny stuff. When it was Harry's turn, she saw him struggling. He is fighting the curse. Harry bent his knees like he was ready to jump but due to his struggle he felt over and hit his head on the desk in front of him. Moody congratulated him on his effort and made him do it over and over again until he was able to resist. Then it was her turn.
She stood up and walked between the other students. She stood in front of him and then turned her back to look at her classmates. Cassiope stole a glance at Draco who looked terrified for some reason. Then she felt so euphoric. Her mind was empty from any worry. She heard a voice...
Sing for me Cassiope...
Why should I do that?
Sing for us... We will all gonna love it...
You know what? I will, after you... I wanna hear you sing...
She then was brought back into her senses from her slumber by a sour and raspy voice singing on top of his lungs. While the whole class was laughing, she looked behind her to see Professor Moody singing with his chest puffed up the ''Drunken Sailor''.
''What will we do with a drunken sailor?
What will we do with a drunken sailor?
What will we do with a drunken sailor?
Early in the morning!''
The rest of the class started singing with him and she couldn't help but start giggling at the sight. It was a rare sound for her and it felt weird in her mouth. She tried to cover her mouth with her hands but alas, she was already bent in two from laughing.
''Way hay and up she rises
Way hay and up she rises
Way hay and up she rises
Early in the morning! CULURIOTE!!!''
He screamed and everyone in class froze. She stopped laughing and looked at the professor. What will he do to her? Another Unforgivable Curse? Instinctively, she grasped her wand ready to protect herself. But Moody after eyeing her with both his eyes for a long moment he burst out laughing.
''You see what Miss Culuriote did? Not only she was able to resist the curse on her first attempt but she was also able to reverse it to hit me! Twenty points for the power of your mind to Gryffindor miss Culuriote and another ten for your cheek.'' he said and gestured her to sit back on her seat.
Cassiope couldn't help but feel a sting of confidence for once in her life. When she passed Draco on her way, that confidence lead her to give a smug smile and wink at him. She suppressed the urge to laugh when she saw his jaw drop.
Cassiope finds some more things about her nature and other kinds of magic. She has her first contact with her father and it doesn't go so well. What happens with Draco though? Why did Sirius say she is in danger? I hope you liked the facts about Greece. I always thought that the wizarding world was narrowed a bit in the UK. I wanted to expand it. Do you like it? Let me hear your thoughts on the reviews. And as always...
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