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Chapter 2: Family and Friends
“Winnie! Are you ready yet?” I heard my dad call from downstairs. I banged on the wall to let him know I was on my way and started dragging my trunk out of my room. I ran into my stepmother, Lizzy, on the landing.
Lizzy, formerly known as Lizbeth Weasley now known as Lizbeth Hawthorn, came into our lives right around the time I started my first year at Hogwarts. She is the youngest sibling of Arthur Weasley and completely different from my mum in appearance. She has a wild mane of red hair while my mother’s hair was a dark brown. My mum had smooth clear skin and she has a face full of freckles. My mum was petite and Lizzy is rather tall, around 5’8. She has blue eyes and my mum had green eyes. Like my mother, she is very kind and rather beautiful.
I could tell right away that she made my dad extremely happy and so I decided to give her the benefit of a doubt, despite the fact that I still missed my mother terribly and was slightly resentful of Lizzy because I felt she was trying to take my mother’s place. Before they got married, my dad sat down with my brother and I and assured us that he still very much loved mum, but Lizzy makes him happy and makes mum’s absence hurt a little less. He also told us that he wouldn’t marry her if it made us unhappy. That was when I knew that we could make room for Lizzy in our lives. I would not let my dad sacrifice any chance he had at happiness. Once I signed to my dad my approval, my brother followed suit and they were married the summer leading into third year.
While I don’t call her mum, she is a very nice person and I managed to fully accept her when she got pregnant with my sister in the middle of third year (they worked fast, but I’d rather not think anymore about it).
“Oh! Winnie, let me get that for you darling,” she said before casting a levitation spell on my trunk. I signed a thank you at her and beamed before trotting down the stairs and crashing right into my little brother. Well, he’s not so little, towering near 6 feet (which is obnoxiously tall in comparison to my height of 5’4). Aside from our height, it isn’t hard to identify the fact that we are siblings. We both have our mother’s dark brown hair (though his is a bit short with some hair falling into his eyes while mine flows down my back and to my waist) and high cheekbones. We have our father’s dark brown eyes and long lashes. While I inherited my mother’s proportioned curvy and petite figure, my brother took after our father in height (scary to think he’s not done growing since our father is around 6’5) and slightly built and, though I hate to say it (I mean ew he’s my brother), fit figure.
He just turned 16 a month ago and is starting his sixth year at Hogwarts. He’s in Gryffindor, like me, and plays as a chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch team. We are extremely close, and sometimes he can be a little overprotective of me but I am fiercely protective of him. Most people know not to mess with a Hawthorn sibling because the other will usually retaliate.
Students of Hogwarts should fear the wrath of Thomas and Rhonwyn Hawthorn! Ahem, sorry. Anyway, it’s a wonder we ever have any relationships since we tend to fight off anyone who shows any interest in the other.
“Hey Sissy,” Tommy said before wrapping me up in one of his totally epic hugs. Seriously, his hugs are one of the best hugs someone can get since he is all warm and cuddly (in my mind). He says my hugs are “motherly” so he loves my hugs equally as much, but his hugs are definitely something he got from our father. What can I say, I love hugs, can’t you tell?
“My trunk is already in the car and dad is too, waiting in the front seat, did you remember everything? Including your Head Girl badge?” he teased, making fun of me and my new status as “Head Girl”. Seriously, I almost gave up the badge (I mean, I’m a bit of a trouble maker, what Dumbledore was thinking I have no idea because despite rarely getting caught that man knows EVERYTHING) because I received an owl from Fred and George Weasley (beaters on the Gryffindor team, awesome friends and wicked pranksters) letting me know that their brother, Percy, is Head Boy. That douche is intolerable, but not nearly as bad as Penelope Clearwater, who I have had a rivalry with since pretty much the first time I corrected her in front of the class back in first year. I accepted the position simply because she was a shoe in for it and it would get on her nerves that I will be the one wearing it this year. I can be a bit evil sometimes…
Anywho, Tommy’s teasing is nothing compared to the Howler I got from Fred and George (A HOWLER!). See, I happen to be the brains behind some of their pranks and they demanded that I immediately turn down the position so we could get back to our evil deeds. After I floo’d on over right away to explain to them my reasoning, and the fact that I won’t all of a sudden have a stick jammed up my ass and quit the pranking business, they were more than happy with my new position and I have a feeling that they will be taking advantage of it (more like they outright told me they would).
“Shut up! You’re a bloody Prefect so you shouldn’t be making fun of me, you’ll probably be wearing the Head Boy badge next year!” I signed to Tommy. He just laughed at me while looking a bit sheepish before pushing my floating trunk out the door and towards the car.
“Bye Winnie! Bye Tommy!” Lizzy wished us goodbye and gave us a hug (she agrees that my brother’s hugs are rather epic). “Annie is in the car with your dad, she wanted to see you off this year, but I think she’s more interested in seeing the ‘choo choo’,” she told us while practically pushing us out the door. I realized when I looked at my watch that it wasn’t so much her trying to get rid of us, more like if we didn’t leave right away we were definitely going to miss the train.
While walking to my father’s Ministry issued vehicle (he works in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts department with Arthur Weasley, which is how he met Lizzy) I signed to Tommy that I didn’t mind sitting in the back with Annie.
“No way! You are not keeping her to yourself. I’ll sit in the back, too,” he protested. I giggled and we each went to a different side of the car and slid in to the back seat.
“Sissy! Tamy!” our three year old little sister called out to us when she saw us. She picked up on Tommy’s habit of calling me Sissy and just simply had trouble pronouncing Tommy’s name so she stuck with Tamy. We each gave her a kiss on the cheek before turning to put on our seat belts.
“No love for your dear old dad? I’m not contagious, one of you could’ve sat up here with me,” our dad piped up gesturing to the empty passenger seat next to him. “Your just not as cute,” I signed to him, grinning cheekily. Tommy nodded his head in agreement and my dad pouted (there’s just something wrong with a grown man of his size pouting despite the round face and puppy dog brown eyes) before adjusting his mirror and then off to Platform 9 and ¾ we went!
“Rhonwyn!” My name was the only warning I had before I was tackled to the ground by a crazy red-head.
“Is that any way to treat a lady, Fred?” I heard George Weasley ask from somewhere above my head and over to my right. “Only my favorite ones, George,” piped up Fred right next to my ear. He had me trapped in a bear hug and I was quickly losing the ability to breath. I frantically started to tug on the back of his shirt, urging him to get off me. “Fred, she’s turning a rather odd shade of purple, maybe you should let her breath mate,” George said as he grabbed his twin and pulled him off of me. After dusting off his pants, Fred held out his hand and helped me off the ground.
Tommy just stood off to the side, laughing at me before greeting Fred and George with one of those man-hug things. You know the one with the hand grasp and half hug? Fred and George only ever do that with my brother. Ever since he saw it on some American muggle television show he’s been trying to get it to catch on at Hogwarts. Aside from indulgence from Fred and George, it just isn’t happening.
“Sorry about that love, I was just so excited to see you I couldn’t help myself,” Fred said with a cheeky grin on his face. I smiled at him to let him know it was ok. After all, bear hugs from Fred Weasley are pretty awesome, even though sometimes they leave you gasping for air (like I said, I love hugs!). George shoved his twin to the side and threw his arms around me. “Enough Fred, it’s my turn to share the love,” George told his twin after turning to face him with his arm over my shoulders.
Stopping them before they could get into a little squabble, I waved my arms to get their attention. “Yes Winnie?” they both said at the same time. “Oliver?” I mouthed to them, tilting my head to the side. I had yet to see my best friend anywhere on the platform. He also happened to be the love of my life, but let’s keep that to ourselves, shall we?
“We saw him earlier. He went ahead to get you guys a compartment, wants ‘privacy’ so you can discuss some new quidditch plays he came up with. I swear, you both are bloody ridiculous, we haven’t even arrived at Hogwarts yet!” Fred shouted behind me. I had taken off dragging my trunk behind me as soon as he said “compartment” and “quidditch plays”. What can I say, I’m obsessed with quidditch. I’m almost as bad as Oliver. Almost.
My dad had already left with Annie earlier. At first she was excited to see the train, but when she realized that Tommy and I were really leaving she started having a fit so dad wished us a final farewell and took her home after having to pry our shirts out of her tiny fists. That little girl has a grip of steal, I tell you.
I shoved my way through the crowd and finally made it onto the Hogwarts Express. The corridor was extremely crowded, making it almost impossible to move. Of course, all I could do was smile apologetically every time I elbowed someone or ran over their foot. Finally I saw a head full of brown hair poke out of the compartment to my right looking around. “There you are!” Oliver beamed before heading towards me.
He wrapped me up in his arms and then it was just me and him in that corridor as I hugged him back. I buried my head in his chest and was surrounded with his clean, woodsy scent and I could feel my heart racing in my chest….wait….is it my heart or his that’s beating so fast? We got jostled by another student and the moment was broken before I could pursue that line of thought further. He pulled away and smiled at me.
“Let’s get out of this mess and into the compartment,” he said in his Scottish brogue. Every time he speaks it makes me a bit weak in the knees, but after being his friend for so long, it’s rather easy to hide it. I nodded my head and he reached over and grabbed my trunk from me. I followed him back to the compartment he secured for us and sat down near the window. He put my trunk away on the rack opposite of where I was sitting and I couldn’t help but watch his back muscles move under his fitted long sleeved shirt as he pushed the trunk over.
Looking around I noticed that we were in the first compartment we ever sat in together and I couldn’t help but think back to when we first met.
I was a tiny first year, barely clearing 4 and a half feet and absolutely terrified of having to spend so much time away from my family. I didn’t let my fear show on the outside though. I held my chin up and walked around with a false confidence that fooled most people into thinking I was a second year, despite my size. As I was looking around for an empty compartment, or at the very least one full of friendly faces, I heard a brief commotion a little bit ahead of me. I kept walking and eventually ran into a couple of first years that seemed about two seconds away from blasting each other to bits with their wands.
“Admit it Wood, your family is full of filthy blood traitors,” a rather nasty looking boy spat. His black hair was cut short to his head and already you could see that his teeth were growing in slightly crooked. He had an ugly sneer on his face and seemed to be the one that was trying to get a rise out of the other boy.
“Shut your mouth Flint! Better to be blood traitors than stupid prejudiced pigs!” The other boy said back. This boy was rather nice looking. He had soft brown hair and brown eyes that were slightly lighter than mine. His Scottish accent was very pleasant to listen to as well. I connected the name Flint to the nasty looking boy and Wood to the Scottish accented one.
I stood there admiring Wood’s vocabulary (very impressive for one so young) and I noticed that as Wood lowered his wand and turned around to go back into his compartment, all the while muttering something along the lines of “done with this oaf”, Flint raised his wand and was preparing to cast a jinx at Wood’s back. Quickly, without even thinking, I grabbed my own wand from my boot (a place I like to keep it to this day) and cast the Jelly-Legs jinx on Flint. He dropped his wand in surprise and Wood turned around and started laughing when he noticed Flint trying to find purchase on the wall to keep from falling to the ground due to his useless legs.
I silently cast Flagrate and spelled out in the air ‘He was trying to jinx you while your back was turned’ to explain my interference with Wood. He looked surprised for a moment before looking angrily back at Flint. “You’re the piece of filth. Go find some other pigs to bother,” he raged at him. Wood then turned to me and softened, “Thanks. You can come sit in my compartment if you want.”
Excited at finally having somewhere to sit and the potential of a new friendship, I smiled at him and then followed him into the compartment. He helped me get my trunk onto the overhead racks and then we sat across from each other. “My name is Oliver Wood,” he introduced himself. I finally had something else to call him other than Wood. I spelled out with my wand ‘I’m Rhonwyn Hawthorn, but you can call me Winnie if you want.’
“Why are you spelling out words with your wand? Can’t you just say them?” Oliver asked me. Being mute is very rare in the Wizarding world so I didn’t take offense to his question and just sadly shook my head no. “Oh, sorry…” he trailed off. I was hoping at that point that he wouldn’t get weirded out or decide we couldn’t be friends. “Well, do you like Quidditch?” he asked.
My face lit up immediately and I started to spell out eagerly all my favorite things about Quidditch. That started off a huge discussion on our favorite positions and such and cemented our friendship.
A few days later we were sitting next to each other in the Great Hall for breakfast. We had been extremely happy and excited when we both ended up in Gryffindor together (we were so busy discussing Quidditch on the train that talking about what house we were hoping for completely slipped our minds until we were standing in the Great Hall waiting to be sorted). That nasty bugger from the train, whose name I learned to be Marcus Flint, ended up in Slytherin. Our hate for that house started right then and there.
The Owl Post came and one tawny little owl dropped off a book shaped package in front of Oliver. I looked on curiously (he shouted a quick “Yes!” when he saw the package, it was obviously something he was expecting/hoping for) as he ripped off the brown paper the book was enclosed in. He held it out happily before handing it over to me so I could see what book it was. The book was a hunter green color and with bold gold writing on the cover said “Sign Language: A Guide to Communicating without Speaking, by Tracius Cornapy”. As I stared at the book in my hands in shock, Oliver went on to explain that he owled his mother our first night at Hogwarts and asked her to get him a book or something that would help him understand me since he figured there was a faster way to communicate rather than me constantly spelling out everything. After I threw myself at him and gave him a hug in thanks, he grabbed the book and started reading through it. That was the moment Oliver Wood became my best friend.
Oliver sat down across from me, like the first time we met, and grabbed his Quidditch playbook which was on the seat beside him. Oliver is a brilliant Quidditch Captain and even better Keeper. His dedication to Quidditch is something I’ve always admired about him. His plays are pure genius and it wouldn’t surprise me if after he aged out and was forced to retire as a professional player, seeing as there was no way he wasn’t going to go on to play professionally after Hogwarts, he went on to Coach and strategize.
We spent a few hours discussing Quidditch and preparing for tryouts for the Reserve team (the main team being full) before the watch on my wrist started to heat up. “I have to get going to the Prefects compartment for the meeting,” I signed to Oliver. He briefly looked disappointed before sitting back and waving me off to my meeting. Slightly put off by his dismissal, I pouted and stared at him until he finally cracked a smile. “Fine, I know, I know, you’re Head Girl and you have to go to this meeting. Just make sure you come straight back as soon as you’re done,” he told me. I smiled and nodded my head at him then left the compartment. Fred and George were right outside about to walk in.
“Have you had a chance to see what we did to Percy’s badge yet?” They both asked at the same time. I shook my head no and they started to laugh hysterically. Sometimes it’s a bit creepy when they align their words and actions like that. “Wait until you see it,” said Fred. “He’s absolutely furious and can’t change it back,” George added. This made me a little more enthusiastic about my meeting so I gave them a thumbs up in approval (because even though I didn’t know what they had done yet, anything that pisses that idiot off gets a seal of approval) and took off towards the Prefects compartment.
Percy was already there and glared at me when I walked in. “You’re late,” he sniffed at me. I spelled out in response, ‘The Prefects aren’t going to be here for another 10 minutes and we already decided on their tentative schedule during the summer. This meeting is only to briefly introduce ourselves and give them the password to their respective houses as well as their schedules.’ I then took a closer look at his badge. Upon seeing what the twins did to it, I fell onto my seat clutching my stomach in laughter. The twins had configured his badge to say “Bighead Boy” and the pun was very appropriate.
When I had gone to the Burrow during the summer to meet with him about the schedule, Percy was walking around as if he owned the place, nose in the air and everything. It didn’t help that Mrs. Weasley was constantly gloating about his accomplishment. It took the wind from his sails a bit when she started to gloat about me being Head Girl as well, but it wasn’t enough to make him bearable.
Percy looked at me sternly and waited for my laughter to subside. I could have undone the twin’s little configuration, but I decided that Percy looked a lot better with his modified badge. When I finally stood up and straightened my shirt, the other Prefects were trickling into the compartment. That was when Percy decided to call me out.
“Why aren’t you in your robes? And where is your badge?” I rolled my eyes at him and spelled out that it isn’t necessary to wear our robes until we were at Hogwarts. He was about to have a go at me before a glare from my brother, who had just walked in, shut him up. I love Tommy, he is just so intimidating! The only reason I’m intimidating is because people know what I am capable of. The last person to walk in, which I was very surprised about, was Penelope Clearwater. It must have really gotten to her that I received the Head Girl badge and she didn’t. She went over and pecked Percy on the lips (ew!) before sitting down. The only reason it’s so gross is because it’s Percy and Penelope. I like couples, it’s usually very sweet but they make me gag.
The meeting went by quickly (I interrupted Percy before he could get into a long rant when we introduced ourselves) and before I knew it, I was back in the compartment with Oliver and the twins. While I was gone, Lee Jordan (fellow prankster and Quidditch commentator) joined those in the compartment and so had Angelina Johnson (another Chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch team). Tommy and I had walked back together from the meeting (surely to make sure Penny didn’t try anything, she was glaring at me the whole meeting in between shooting loving looks at Percy) and I took a seat next to Oliver while he sat across from me next to Angelina.
“Hey Winnie,” Angelina greeted me. “Winnie!” Lee had been in such an intense discussion with the twins that he only noticed that I arrived when Angelina greeted me. I returned his hug and sat back to lean my head against Oliver’s shoulder. He grabbed my hand and we started to absently play with each other’s fingers, both of us lost in thought, when all of a sudden the train stopped.
“Whoa! What’s going on?” “Is everyone ok?” “What just happened?” Everyone started talking at once and I banged against the wall of the compartment with my fist to get everyone’s attention. I put my finger to my lips and pointed at the windows which had started to frost over. My heart filled with dread when I saw the shadowy figure at the door before it slid open. Almost right away the screaming in my head started. I could hear my mother’s killers, her cries and began to relive her death all over again. I put my hands over my ears, curled into a ball against Oliver’s side and began sobbing, begging for it all to stop.
I had realized too late what they were. Reading about them in text books is one thing, but steeling your mind against them and experiencing what they do to you is something completely different. My heart filled with dread because as soon as I saw the shadowy figure I knew exactly what boarded the train.
A/N: Thank you so much for all the reads! And a huge thanks to Moldy Wart for your review! My best friend though I should split this up into two chapters but I couldn't bring myself to stop anywhere else! I had originally planned on this chapter ending with their arrival at Hogwarts but as I was writing...well I wrote a lot more than I thought I would and things didn't go according to plan (as far as where it should end).
Let me know if the length really is too long I'll try to find some way to shorten any future chapters but for now I hope you've enjoyed what you've read so far!
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or anything else that came from the mind of JK Rowling. I only own my little additions to her epic story.