My birthday's November 7th, and I was born in Greece, on the island of Sfairia which is off the eastern coast of the Peloponnese peninsula. The story goes that the whole time Mamá — my mother Gaiane — was in labor, Yiayiá — her mother Evangelia, my grandmother — was right there holding her hand. I'm a twin, and my sister Heaven was firstborn. When she was born, she was handed to Mamá. I was born 2 minutes later, since Mamá was already holding Heaven, Yiayiá held me.

We didn't have much hair when we were born, but there was enough. We actually look very alike, but we never had trouble with people mixing us up. My hair is red — blood red. I hate people calling it that, but there's really no other way to describe it. Heaven has fair hair, the color of straw or hay. We both had blue eyes. At the time they thought it might just be because we were babies, but they've stayed blue. We both have pretty fair skin as well. Yiayiá is one eighth veela. It's not unusually really, there are lots of veela along the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Mamá is one sixteenth, and my sister and I are one thirty-second. They think that's why my hair is an "unnatural" color.

We grew up on Sfairia, with our family. That means our parents, Mamá and Bampás, and our grandparents, Mamá's parents, Yiayiá and Pappoús. Our parents lived with Yiayiá and Pappoús since before we were born, and the house we live in is really Pappoús and Yiayiá's.

When we were little, we hated to be separated. They slept in the same cot, played with the same toys and would cry when one was away from the other. We did everything together when we were little, everything.

I hate it when people say one of us is "the something one" and the other is "the something else one". But people say it anyways: she's "the quiet one", and I'm "the outgoing one", "the confident one". But it still boils down to the same thing: She's shy and I'm not. Mamá says that Heaven was the lily and I'm the rose. The idea is that the lily is a beautiful, innocent flower, and the rose is also a beautiful flower, but not without thorns, and both the lily and the rose are surprisingly sturdy, resilient flowers.

We each had our group of friends. My friends were Maria and Theodora; her friends were Ismene, Erianthe, Zena, and Hesper. But at the end of the day when everyone went home, we were each other's best friends.

I've always been closer to my grandparents, and Heaven's always been closer to our parents. I love my parents, and my relationship with them is fine, but I'm really close to my grandparents. I always have been, since the day I was born and Yiayiá held me. And while Yiayiá was holding me, Mamá was holding Heaven. Heaven's always been closer to our parents. And it was always fine. We loved all our family of course, but we had a special bond with one generation.

When I was 10, I learned about witch burning from my grandparents. Most of the real witches and wizards who burned were children, young children who couldn't control their magic and hide it from muggles, and who were too young to know the kind of magic they'd need to escape the pyre.

I was really freaked out. In this era, we're only 1 scientist away from being dissected. I asked them why they never told me before, and they said they didn't want me growing up in fear. And that when I was younger, I wouldn't have really understood — you can tell a 2-year-old not to go in the road because they'll get hit, but they won't really understand. It's better to just keep them out of the road until they're old enough to understand.

I started telling my parents about it when Heaven was around. Heaven friends were muggles and muggle-borns. However, all attempts at subtlety failed. I think it's because Heaven is loyal and fearless — more than anyone else I've ever known. And that sounds like positive traits, but in staying their friends she was risking her own life. And no matter what anyone tells me, I'm never going to be sorry for what happened next. If I didn't at least try, I never would've been able to forgive myself.

I walked up to Heaven and her friend muggle friend Ismene Vlasopoulos and joined in their conversation. And then I brought up Quidditch. No, I wasn't trying to kill her, I was trying to save her! There was this neighbor lady we sort of knew who used to have the world's stupidest cat. The cat loved lying in the road and sunning itself. When I found the cat dead in the road and went to tell her, she was crying and saying that she wished she had carefully run over the cat's tail herself. She could've ran over it's tail, and maybe it's tail would've been maimed but it would've taught the cat a lesson and the cat wouldn't have gotten hit. I was trying to do the the same thing. But when I brought up Quidditch, Heaven started shouting at me. I was shocked — it was the first time in my life Heaven had ever properly shouted at me. Heaven's quiet in all senses of the word, and she rarely shouted at all and never at me. I glared at Ismene, and she glared back at me. I tough it meant something like the first one of us to break eye-contact was weak. But after a few seconds flames started to form in the Ismene's eyes and quickly engulfed her whole eyeballs. Within a minute, her eyes were nothing but ash.

It was accidental magic, and I hardly punished. Ismene has prosthetic eyes now so that eye sockets don't look empty. But really, they are — the entirety of her eyes are gone.

There's been an awful silence between us ever since then. We barely talk. I love her, I love her more than anyone. But I can't break it, I can't.