Astoria was sitting out on her stoop drinking tea. Marcus was at work. She was busy watching her new neighbor. She recognized the woman and had put herself within available distance, hoping she would visit, but so far, there had been nothing. Astoria was beginning to suspect she would have to make the first move. Marcus did not like that she seemed so interested in her neighbor. Astoria suspected that he was jealous.
Astoria decided she was tired of waiting. “Well, hello there, Parvati Patil. Don’t you say hello to former schoolmates?”
The woman tensed then actually walked over to Astoria’s cottage. She looked like she was walking to her death.
Astoria took in the appearance. The woman was dressed simply in a t-shirt and jeans. Her long black hair was loose, and there was a ring in her nose. She had a traditional henna stain on both hands. She was also very wary, but Astoria had been able to sense that all the way across the distance and without depending upon her Sight.
Astoria sniffed the air between them.
“You’re more in tune with the afterlife since your accident.”
“How do you know that?” Parvati snapped.
“I live in Stygion. This is my house. How do you think I know?”
“You’re a Seer? You?”
“I was born one,” Astoria said. “I used to think I just dreamed a lot. I do believe I was five before I realized when I dreamt of things, they could come true.”
Astoria poured another cup of tea. She’d brought out two cups and two saucers because she knew she would not be having her tea alone today. Patil was sitting down in a bit of a daze. She likely did not even realize she had joined Astoria.
“Did you know right away after your accident that things were different with your inner eye? That it saw more sharply? Do you See now?”
“Nothing like that,” Parvati said. “I just read auras and palms, like always, but I’m just better at it now. I can sometimes sense spirits that are not making themselves as visible to the human eye.”
“You see it because you look for it. Most people don’t go looking,” Astoria said as she took a sip of her tea.
She could see all sorts of things on Parvati Patil, and the Astoria of the past would have started spouting the most shocking or important parts, but she recalled what Snape had said. She needed to quit using her gifts for her own ends, her own amusement, and Astoria was really trying. She wanted him to be proud of her - not disappointed.
“I’m... I’m not like Daphne, you know,” Astoria said after a long silence where they were just sipping tea.
“I didn’t... I’m sorry. I just... Slytherins and I... we don’t... there are bad memories, and some of them involve your sister. She and I never really got along.”
She didn’t even have to say. Astoria knew. Draco was always at odds with Harry, Neville Longbottom got picked on by Bulstrode, Granger against Pans,y and Daphne was pitted against Parvati Patil and Lavender Brown. Really Theo was probably the only Slytherin who didn’t make some Gryffindor their foil, and Balise was at odds with everyone who was male in the other houses.
“I’m sorry if she hurt you,” Astoria said. “She does that.”
Parvati was suddenly looking at Astoria as if it occurred to her this Greengrass was not like her sister and she had been treating Astoria unfairly because of Daphne and now felt guilty.
“Has that been Marcus Flint I see coming and going from your place?”
“It has been, but you needn’t worry about Marcus. He’s not exactly what he seemed to be. Don’t get me wrong, he’ll still a man you never want to cross, but he treats me very well. Snape would string him up if he did not.”
“Oh dear. That man really needs to have himself announced. He’s not dead.”
Parvati’s mouth was hanging open.
“He’s dragging his feet on announcing to the wizarding world he’s of the living.”
“Why would he be worried? He’s a hero,” Parvati said.
“That’s why,” Astoria replied. “He doesn’t want that. He’s a Slytherin. We prefer to be the anti-heroes.”
Parvati laughed a bit. “Why are we talking like this when we never spoke in school? Why are you telling me all of this? Like we’re friends or something?”
“Because we were meant to have this conversation.”