A/N: The first name you'll see is 'Cho Chang'. This is just a ploy to get you into the story. To make sure you read it. It's NOT A CHO FIC! In fact… it's a Sinistra Fic. Yes, she's obscure. Yes, we know nothing about her. And yes I'm going to play with your heads. Sinistra isn't what she appears to be in this fic. (Are any of the peoples in my fics ever what they appear to be? Don't answer that.)
For you Astronomy buffs out there, I know that Hercules, Virgo, Leo and Perseus and any other mentioned constellations will never appear in the sky at the same time. They do in this fic so it will work. I know Sinistra will talk funny. Also for the sake of the story line. I originally wanted to write this to share with you my view on the celestial heavens. But in doing research on this fic, I got curious and typed in 'Virgo' in the search area of Encyclopedia Mythica. And this story resulted. Y'all gotta love the Encyclopedia Mythica. Now, read!
The first impression that first year Cho Chang had when she came into the astronomy tower was that of being in a giant snow globe. The floor was made of golden marble covered in colorful cushions. Most of her fellow Ravenclaws were already seated there. One, a boy by the name of Andrew Garber, was already lying on his back naming the constellations above him.
"There's Hercules." He said, pointing. "He was a great hero. There's Leo, the lion. He's the September zodiac. Up there, the W shaped one, that's Cassiopeia. She was a beautiful queen who lived in a prosperous kingdom…" as he talked about the different constellations he pointed them out above their heads. He turned near the horizon, the edge of the glass. "Over there is my zodiac. Virgo- the virgin. She's shaped like… wait a minute! She isn't there!"
"There's a blind spot in the dome, Mr. Garber." Said the tall blonde woman shrouded in billowing white robes who'd suddenly appeared in the tower-top classroom.
"How'd you know my name?" Andrew stuttered.
"The celestial bodies are more than just figures of light. The tell us a lot about the way the world works."
"You could tell that from the stars?" he asked amazed.
The Aryan woman laughed daintily and the sound rang out like the chiming of bells. "No, dearest child," Andrew scowled. "I had Professor McGonagall teach me all of your names at lunch today. The trick comes in quite handy." The countenance of the woman grew hard again and her sea green eyes glinted with something, mirth or anger, it was hard to tell.
"My name is Professor Sinistra and you are here to learn the science of astronomy." White and gold magic zapped from finger to finger in her out stretched hands.
"The heavens are the source of our power. In order for you to cast the simplest spell, from lighting your wand," She whispered and lit her wand, "To raising a person from the dead, the grain of magic must co-inside with your purpose. This is the reason why dark arts, such as raising a person from the dead, are so hard to accomplish successfully. You need to find a snag in the fabric of the good celestial magic to complete the spell. When Professor Sinistra wasn't yet a teacher and Professor Nisphere was teaching, she detected a change in the fabric of space. The week the Potters were killed the grain of celestial magic turned evil and no good magic could be preformed. One theory on the demise of the dark lord is he found a good snag in the evil fabric."
By now all of the children were taking notes like good Ravenclaws and were absorbed in writing. They didn't notice when the serious look was wiped off her face and the joy glinted in her eyes. When she flopped down like a moody teenager the eleven-year-olds looked up in surprise.
"That's enough seriousness!" She exclaimed. "You've all had a hard first week, haven't you?" Several students nodded, some groaned in agreement and others just looked dead. Midnight just wasn't a good time for studying anything. Professor Sinistra flashed her perfect straight smile. "I think a story time is in order" she nodded briskly, like a child confirming to it's mother that it wanted milk.
"My first name is Astraea. My mother named me that before I was born, and if I was a boy, too bad for him." She waved her hand at the triteness of that fact and giggles came from her strangely captivated audience. Sinistra's white robes were spread around her on the colorful cushion on the marble floor. She shifted her position so she could hug her knees.
She flung her head back, golden curls falling over her shoulder. "The stars have always fascinated me." She said, starting her tale. "Points of light, dancing above my cradle. We were living among mortals…err… muggles, muggles. When I was young, a child, the stars literally had no stories behind them. As I grew older I learned of stories, unusual stories that told of the trials of mankind and the good in them." She laid back for a better view of the night sky.
"Over there, Hercules, he wasn't the strong and valiant hero Andrew believes him to be." She took her fingers and traced the shape in the stars. The points of twinkling light connected and a beautiful illustration formed. "His stepmother Juno was jealous of him and drove him crazy. Not crazy like your mothers do you, she drove him insane. To the point that he killed his wife and children." She drew in a deep breath. "Grieving the loss of them and his honor, he went to the oracle at Delphi to ask how he could gain his honor back. She told him to serve the King of Mycenae for twelve years. If he could do that, she said, his honor would be returned to him. And so he did. These were where the twelve labors of Hercules come in. The labors were difficult. His eeevviilll stepmother joined forces with the king to make sure he didn't succeed. But succeed he did. Twelve years and Twelve labors later Hercules had gained back his honor and was the hero we know today. When he died he ascended to Mount Olympus and became immortal. And Astraea painted a picture of him in the stars."
"You aren't talking about yourself are you?" asked Cho.
"Astraea is a Greek goddess who made the constellations. She lived on earth during the golden age. Astraea believed humans were good, and when evil and wickedness increased their grips on humanity, she was the last to leave. Pity for the 'blind' spot in the dome. Astraea made a divine home in the constellation Virgo."
"Sorry for interrupting." Said Cho meekly.
"It's alright dearie. Where was I? Oh, yes. Cassiopeia is a famous one. She was beautiful, but boastful." She illustrated Cassiopeia like she did Hercules. "And that's what got her in trouble. The sea nymphs complained, and Poseidon, the god of the sea, sent a monster to ravage the land. An oracle told the King to chain his daughter, Adromeda to the cliff for a sacrifice. There she is!" Another character in the sky drama was shown to the watchers. "Perseus, the hero in winged sandals who killed Medusa, came along just as the monster was about to eat the damsel in question. He took out Medusa's head, which had the power to turn people to stone, and showed it to the monster and Andromeda was saved. Astraea always loved a good story and this one was one of the best stories ever told. Astraea gave Perseus a place in the stars," Sinistra showed them his golden illustration. "As well as Cassiopeia. Astraea is also a goddess of justice. And Cassiopeia, as a punishment for her boasting, had to stay half of the year upside down in her chair in the stars, and half of the year right side up."
The room was quiet. All the students were listening, no one was moving. Sinistra continued. "I love the stars for the stories they hold. Astraea was the only one who could have pulled it off, and the legends and wonderful stories of days gone by would have been forgotten if it weren't for the stars. And the stars are like our destinies too. They are always there, but depending on where you are, just like you destiny and where you are in life, they look different. Any questions?"
Andrew Garber raised his hand. "Are all those stories true?"
"As true as Professor Sinistra can tell you. Oh, look at the time! You all should be in bed." The tired first years nodded sleepily as they trudged down the stairs. Then Astraea seemed to talk to herself.
"When I see those young, shining faces I truly wonder how far off the next golden age is. It would be wonderful to live on earth again." A lightning bolt came close to striking the tower out of the clear sky.
"Yes, father. I know it will never happen so long as Voldemort terrorizes the earth. But one can hope, can't they?" She laughed and faded into stardust. The glass door on the side of the dome banged open the dust blew out the window. Above the dome, in the 'blind' spot, the constellation Virgo shone brightly, laughing at the irony of the world and waiting for another good story.
A/n: Before you flame me for it, she didn't apparate. And for those of you who missed it, she *is* the Greek Goddess Astraea. Um… I can't think of anything else… okay.