Ugh. Make it stop.


Shut up!



I quickly drew the sword I slept with (it might sound paranoid, but I've lost count of how many times it's saved my life) and sliced the alarm clock.


It beeped no more.

I groaned sleepily, sitting up in bed. I sheathed my weapon, stretching myself awake. I reached for a watch on my bedside table; the face was outlined with Ancient Greek symbols replacing the numbers; I use it as an alternative to my alarm clock in the event that I sliced my alarm clock. It was 8:47. Time for breakfast.

I got up, not bothering to get dressed. I shivered slightly, walking down the cold, solid obsidian hallways in my thin pajamas.

By the way, the name's Raven. Raven Necros. I live with my dad, who happens to be Hades, Lord of the Dead, in the Underworld.

Yeah, I know. Cool, right?

I ate breakfast alone. My dad was always up and in his throne room by 2 A.M.

I've been meaning to tell him to get more sleep, but he's a god. Who am I to question his judgment?

I mechanically chewed my cereal, I sighed. I was TIRED of eating cereal. It was all I ever ate. Aunt Demeter stocks us with a few tons of Mimi Wheats and corn flakes every harvest season.

After breakfast, I went back to my room to get dressed. I had to look my best, dad said. I slipped on a pair of black jeans, put on a black shirt, and strapped my sword to my belt. I put on a long, flowing black jacket on that would hide my sword.

I was going to school. Hogwarts, to be exact.

Dad wanted me to go, for two reasons.

Reason one: It was the safest place to hide from my uncle. Zeus was growing paranoid. Everyone knew that The Big Three having children was dangerous, and he gave Hades an ultimatum: Hand me over, or he'll destroy me himself. Dad decided that he'd take matters into his own hands. He me in a place called the Lotus Hotel and Casino when I was six years old. Then, seemingly a few days later, Dad brought me out to train in my powers. Part of this training was being sent off to school; this particular school was hidden from my uncle.

Reason two: Dad said that the wizards were facing a rising danger. One that I could assist in defeating. I didn't want to ask him why he actually wanted to help someone, he probably had an old score to settle with this guy.

I didn't mind. I was excited to learn magic other than Hades' powers.

I brushed through my shoulder-length black hair, letting it fall over half my face. I pulled my jacket hood up over my head, checking my watch again. It was almost time to go. I went to my father's throne room to get my bag and bid him farewell.


When I was seven, my father gave me a black bag that my mother planned on giving me before she died.

My dad never told me about my mom, other than she was a witch and that she was no longer living. I didn't even know her name.

Anyway, it was a simple black knapsack. At least, that's what it looked like from the outside. My mother had put a spell on it; Dad called it an "Undetectable Extension Charm". It was larger on the inside than it was on the outside.

It contained my clothes, a few canteens of Nectar, a bag of Ambrosia, and other essentials. I also had packed a large bag full of wizard money for me (Dad has money from everywhere. He is the rich god, after all), another bag filled with a surprise, and a few books written in Ancient Greek, including my favorite: The Life and Times of Grace Sherwood—the Witch of Pungo.

"Remember," my father said as I shouldered my bag, "You're not only there for your own safety,"

"Yeah, dad, I know. Voldemort—that's his name, right?—anyway, he's rising, and they need my help. I still don't understand why—"

"Don't ask!" Hades cut me off short. "Expect something from me tomorrow afternoon at the latest." He said after calming a little.

Before I could respond or even say goodbye, I was sucked into the nearest shadow.


I tumbled into a stall in the Women's' lavatory at Kings' Cross. Exiting the restroom, I looked around for the right platform. What was it? Oh, yeah, 9 ¾. I walked past all the mortals, wondering if all of the ideas the British came up with were that weird.

I managed to find platforms 9 and 10. By reason, I figured that Platform 9 ¾ would be somewhere in the middle.

I groaned. The one detail that Dad had to leave out was how to get onto the frickin' platform!

I walked up and down the platforms, looking for any witches or wizards getting onto the platform. I glanced at my watch since I couldn't read the clock. 10:53. The train left at 11:00 exactly. I didn't have a lot of time.

I noticed a group of weirdly dressed people running along the platform. I followed them.

They, one at a time, ran through the wall between the platforms.

Like, through it.

Deciding to follow their lead, I picked up speed and headed toward the barrier between platforms 9 and 10. I was about to enter when I noticed two boys, one with red hair and the other with black, skidding to stop their trolleys. They were obviously trying to do what I was trying to do.

"Sorry, you go," I said.

The black-haired boy shook his head. "You go on."

I smiled faintly. I walked through the barrier. On the other side, an amazing scarlet-red train was waiting to depart.

My amazement was interrupted by a loud crash from the other side of the wall that made me jump in surprise.

I ignored it, boarding the train. I picked an empty compartment near the back of the train, throwing my bag onto the seat across from where I sat. I pulled out one of my books, the one about the Witch of Pungo. It was the fourth time I'd read it, but I loved it every time.
It was the story of my half-sister, Grace Sherwood, and how she was an ordinary woman who was different from anyone else. According to my father, my uncle Poseidon favored her. It was during her life that they actually got along about something. Poseidon blessed her with a beach home, where the fresh water of the Lynnhaven River would water her crops. He would calm the seas whenever she went for a swim, and she quickly became an avid swimmer.

Long story short, she was convicted of being a witch, and was thrown into the Lynnhaven River, crossbound with a bible around her neck, for trial by ducking. If she drowned, she'd be pardoned, and if she floated, she was convicted and thrown in prison. In fear of angering Hades, Poseidon assisted Grace by sending a naiad to loosen her bonds. She swam up, convicting her.

I was at a good part when I was interrupted by a woman outside with a cart of sweets.

"Anything from the trolley, dear?" she asked sweetly.

Marking my page, I opened the door to my compartment. I looked at the cart full of candies I'd never seen. I picked something that looked like it said "Chocolate" (I couldn't tell because of my dyslexia) and paid her two Knuts.

When she left, I opened the box. A brown frog hopped out, sticking to the window. I instinctively grabbed it, realizing that it was chocolate. I shrugged, shoving it in my mouth. It struggled, but once I bit into it, it fell limp.

I looked at a card that was in the box. I guessed they were collectable. On the front of the card was a picture of Circe. I knew all about her. I threw the card into my bag as the train slowed to a halt.


I was the last one off the train. I didn't want to get on the carriages, so I walked.

Yeah, I know. It was probably nerves. I'd never gone to school, and I'd never been around so many living people. When I reached the castle, I crossed a courtyard and entered through large oak doors.

It wasn't hard to find the Great Hall. It was the first room, and the biggest.

I took a deep breath, pulled my hood up to hide my eyes, formed a confident smile on my face and pushed open the large doors.

There were about four hundred teenagers in the room, seated at four long tables stretching the length of the room. At the fat end, adults were seated at two tables that spanned the width. And an old man stood at a podium, giving a speech that I had just interrupted. Everyone turned to stare at me.

"I'm here to speak with Dumbledore," I said clear enough for the entire room to hear me.

Everyone's gaze turned from me to the old man.

"Of course," the ancient man said. "If you'll wait a moment, I'll be right with you."

I nodded. "Of course." I said. I stepped aside, leaning against the cool wall.

"Students, while I settle this matter Professor McGonagall will continue the start-of-term announcements. Thank you, and don't worry."

He stepped down from the podium and a woman in emerald green robes took his place.

"We'll speak in my office," Dumbledore said as he walked down the aisle toward me. "This way." He led me out of the room.

After a few corridors, we approached a statue of a large bird.

"Sherbet Lemon," he said. I guess it was a password or something, because the statue began to rise and rotate, revealing a staircase. We stepped on and rode up until we stopped at a room. Dumbledore sat down at his desk and he offered me a chair. I sat.

"Now, what did you wish to speak to me about?" he asked.

"Okay, I'll get right to the point," I said, taking off my hood. I'd rehearsed this excuse, anticipating that Dumbledore wouldn't believe that I'm a demigod. "My name's Raven Necros. My father and some other scientists at the Base sent me."

"What base?" Dumbledore questioned, leaning forward.

"I represent a top-secret American society, based in Area 51. My father works there."

Dumbledore nodded, smiling gently. "I must say, you are an excellent liar. However, I require the truth.

I tried again. "Okay, the truth is…I'm a clone."

This made Dumbledore laugh. It was a warm laugh, though, and I didn't feel ridiculed. "Alright, now, honestly. Who are you and what is your purpose at my school?" he asked a third time.

I looked into his ancient eyes, finding it impossible to lie to them. I stood, approaching his desk. Pressing my hands on the wood of the desk, I looked him in the eye and asked, "How much do you know about Greek Mythology?"

Hermione's POV

I had a hard time paying attention to Professor McGonagall. I couldn't stop thinking about Dumbledore, alone with that hooded figure. Questions flooded my mind.

Who was she?

Did she have to do with You-Know-Who?

What did she want from us?

Was she the reason that Harry and Ron were missing?

Raven's POV

"So, long story short, my mother wanted me to come here. She says in this letter"— I pulled out a letter from my jacket pocket—"that she wanted me in Gryffindor." I stuffed the letter back in my pocket.

Dumbledore nodded in understanding. "Well, I'm not one to argue with a mother's last wishes.

We discussed further, and we agreed that I would attend the school as a second-year student.

We descended the staircase and headed back into the Great Hall.


Hermione's POV

It was a bit depressing, learning that this complete stranger was going to be staying in the Gryffindor Common Room. With her pale face and dark personality, she'd fit in perfectly in Slytherin.

I got dressed for bed in the dormitory. The girl, named Raven, hadn't left the common room since after dinner. There was something about her. Something she wasn't telling anyone.

I decided to be polite and at least introduce myself. I went down to the Common Room to find her lying on the couch, reading a book in the firelight.

I took a deep breath and lightly tapped her shoulder.

She sat up quickly, whirling around in her seat and holding up one hand in a defensive position.

I jumped in surprise, but forced a friendly smile.

"Hi. I'm Hermione Granger. We're rooming together," I said politely. She relaxed her hand.

"The name's Raven," she said, her accent clearly American.

I sat down next to her. "What are you reading there?"

She held up her gray, leather-bound book with symbols that even I didn't know on the front.

"It's called The Life and Times of Grace Sherwood—The Witch of Pungo,"

"What language is it in?" I asked.

"Ancient Greek."

"Ancient Greek?"

"It's the only language I can read."

"Can't you read English?"

"I'm dyslexic."


I didn't know what else to say. She went back to reading, and our conversation pretty much ended there.

"Well, I guess I'll see you in class," I said.

Raven grunted in response.

I hurried back to the dormitory as fast as I could.

"Well, that was unpleasant," I muttered to myself. I went straight to bed, immediately trying to forget the conversation I'd just had.

Harry's POV

I'd like to say that this year was turning out to be the best I'd had yet. I could say that, but I'd be a filthy liar.

I rubbed the bruise that had formed on my forehead when I had hit it on Hedwig's cage earlier.

"Well, that was cheerful," Ron said sarcastically as we entered the Common Room.

"Oh, yeah," I replied sardonically. "We have to take a flying car to Hogwarts, which got ruined by a tree, which almost KILLED us, then drove off without us, and THEN we almost got EXPELLED. This is shaping up to be the best year EVER." I stopped when Ron motioned for me to be quiet and look behind me.

When I turned, there was a girl with long black hair dressed in all black, lying on the couch with an open book on her chest. She was asleep.

I turned back to Ron. "Who's that?" I whispered.

Ron shrugged. "I don't know. She looks too old to be a first year." He pointed out.

"Maybe Hermione knows her?" I suggested.

"If she's new, Hermione definitely knows her."

We ascended the staircase, quietly rapping the girls' dorm room door. "Hermione!" Ron and I whispered.

She opened the door, revealing her in her flowing, pale blue nightgown.

"What do you want? Where were you? Did something happen to you?" she demanded.

"Shush!" Ron said. "We just saw a girl in the Common Room. Who is she?"

Hermione blinked. "Elaborate, please," she said.

"Um…she has black hair, dressed in all black, asleep on the couch. Know her?" I asked.

"Yeah, that's Raven Necros. She's new."

"What do you know about her?" I inquired.

"Only that she's American and that she's dyslexic."

"I want to know more about her." I stated.

"Good luck. Conversation's nearly impossible." Hermione told me.

I shrugged. "I'll try. Ron, you gonna join me?"

"No way! I don't need to know her, she creeps me out already."

I shook my head. "Let's sleep on this."

"Gladly," Hermione huffed grumpily. "Good night," she said, closing the door.

Ron and I glanced back at Raven. She'd rolled over in her sleep, and the book had fallen to the floor. I walked over, picking up the book. On one page was a picture of a woman in a boat, tied by her thumbs to her opposite toes. The other page was filled with symbols that I didn't recognize. I put the book back on the floor, and then went up with Ron to the dorm. Now I was determined to learn more about her.

Revised 7/23/2011