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Chapter 1: Chapter One: The Hogwarts Express
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Chapter One: The Hogwarts Express
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or plot elements taken from JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Furthermore, I do not own the excerpt in this chapter taken from the epilogue of her Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
A/N: I realize that most of this chapter is the excerpt from the epilogue. However, I am done with the second chapter, and it will be up tomorrow.
Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first of September was crisp and golden as an apple, and as the little family bobbed across the rumbling road toward the great sooty station, the fumes of car exhausts and the breath of pedestrians sparkled like cobwebs in the cold air. Two large cages rattled on top of the laden trolleys the parents were pushing; the owls inside them hooted indignantly, and the redheaded girl trailed tearfully behind her brothers, clutching her father’s arm.
“It won’t be long, and you’ll be going too,” Harry told her.
“Two years,” sniffed Lily. “I want to go now!”
The commuters stared curiously at the owls as the family wove its way toward the barrier between platforms nine and ten. Albus’s voice drifted back to Harry over the surrounding clamor; his sons had resumed the argument they had started in the car.
“I won’t! I won’t be in Slytherin!”
“James, give it a rest!” said Ginny.
“I only said he might be,” said James, grinning at his younger brother. “There’s nothing wrong with that. He might be in Slyth —”
But James caught his mother’s eye and fell silent. The five Potters approached the barrier. With a slightly cocky look over his shoulder at his younger brother, James took the trolley from his mother and broke into a run. A moment later, he had vanished.
“You’ll write to me, won’t you?” Albus asked his parents immediately, capitalizing on the momentary absence of his brother.
“Every day, if you want us to,” said Ginny.
“Not every day,” said Albus quickly. “James says most people only get letters from home about once a month.”
“We wrote to James three times a week last year,” said Ginny.
“And you don’t want to believe everything he tells you about Hogwarts,” Harry put in. “He likes a laugh, your brother.”
Side by side, they pushed the second trolley forward, gathering speed. As they reached the barrier, Albus winced, but no collision came. Instead, the family emerged onto the platform nine and three-quarters, which was obscured by thick white steam that was pouring from the scarlet Hogwarts Express. Indistinct figures were swarming through the mist, into which James had already disappeared.
“Where are they?” asked Albus anxiously, peering at the hazy forms they passed as they made their way down the platform.
“We’ll find them,” said Ginny reassuringly.
But the vapor was dense, and it was difficult to make out anybody’s faces. Detached from their owners, voices sounded unnaturally loud. Harry thought he heard Percy discoursing loudly on broomstick regulations, and was quite glad of the excuse not to stop and say hello…
“I think that’s them, Al,” said Ginny suddenly.
A group of four people emerged from the mist, standing alongside the very last carriage. Their faces only came into focus when Harry, Ginny, Lily, and Albus had drawn right up to them.
“Hi,” said Albus, sounding immensely relieved.
Rose, who was already wearing her brand-new Hogwarts robes, beamed at him.
“Parked all right, then?” Ron asked Harry. “I did. Hermione didn’t believe I could pass a Muggle driving test, did you? She thought I’d have to Confund the examiner.”
“No, I didn’t,” said Hermione, “I had complete faith in you.”
“As a matter of fact, I did Confund him,” Ron whispered to Harry, as together they lifted Albus’s trunk and owl onto the train. “I only forgot to look in the wing mirror, and let’s face it, I can use a Supersensory Charm for that.”
Back on the platform, they found Lily and Hugo having an animated discussion about which House they would be sorted into when they finally went to Hogwarts.
“If you’re not in Gryffindor, we’ll disinherit you,” said Ron, “but no pressure.”
Lily and Hugo laughed, but Albus and Rose looked solemn.
“He doesn’t mean it,” said Hermione and Ginny, but Ron was no longer paying attention. Catching Harry’s eye, he nodded covertly to a point some fifty yards away. The steam had thinned for a moment, and three people stood in sharp relief against the shifting mist.
“Look who it is.”
Draco Malfoy was standing there with his wife and son, a dark coat buttoned up to his throat. His hair was receding somewhat, which emphasized the pointed chin. The new boy resembled Draco as much as Albus resembled Harry. Draco caught sight of Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny staring at him, nodded curtly, and turned away again.
“So that’s little Scorpius,” said Ron under his breath. “Make sure you beat him in every test, Rosie. Thank God you inherited your mother’s brains.”
“Ron, for heaven’s sake,” said Hermione, half stern, half amused. “Don’t try to turn them against each other before they’ve even started school!”
“You’re right, sorry,” said Ron, but unable to help himself, he added, “Don’t get too friendly with him, though, Rosie. Grandad Weasley would never forgive you if you married a pureblood.”
James had reappeared; he had divested himself of his trunk, owl and trolley, and was evidently bursting with news.
“Teddy’s back there,” he said breathlessly, pointing back over his shoulder into the billowing clouds of steam. “Just seen him! And guess what he’s doing? Snogging Victoire!”
He gazed up at the adults, evidently disappointed by the lack of reaction.
“Our Teddy! Teddy Lupin! Snogging our Victoire! Our cousin! And I asked Teddy what he was doing —”
“You interrupted them?” said Ginny. “You are so like Ron —”
“— and he said he’d come to see her off! And then he told me to go away. He’s snogging her!” James added as though worried he had not made himself clear.
“Oh, it would be lovely if they got married!” whispered Lily ecstatically. “Teddy would really be part of the family then!”
“He already comes round for dinner about four times a week,” said Harry. “Why don’t we just invite him to live with us and have done with it?”
“Yeah!” said James enthusiastically. “I don’t mind sharing with Al—Teddy could have my room!”
“No,” said Harry firmly, “you and Al will share a room only when I want the house demolished.”
He checked the battered old watch that had once been Fabian Prewett’s.
“It’s nearly eleven; you’d better get on board.”
“Don’t forget to give Neville our love!” Ginny told James as she hugged him.
“Mum! I can’ give a professor love!”
“But you know Neville —”
James rolled his eyes.
“Outside, yeah, but at school he’s Professor Longbottom, isn’t he? I can’t walk into Herbology and give him love…”
Shaking his head at his mother’s foolishness, he vented his feelings by aiming a kick at Albus.
“See you later, Al. Watch out for the thestrals.”
“I thought they were invisible? You said they were invisible!”
But James merely laughed, permitted his mother to kiss him, gave his father a fleeting hug, then leapt onto the rapidly filling train. They saw him wave, then spring away up the corridor t find his friends.
“Thestrals are nothing to worry about,” Harry told Albus. “They’re gentle things, there’s nothing scary about them. Anyway, you won’t be going up to school in the carriages, you’ll be going in the boats.”
Ginny kissed Albus good-bye.
“See you at Christmas.”
“Bye, Al, ” said Harry as his son hugged him. “Don’t forget Hagrid’s invited you to tea next Friday. Don’t mess with Peeves. Don’t duel anyone till you’ve learned how. And don’t let James wind you up.”
“What if I’m in Slytherin?”
The whisper was for his father alone, and Harry knew that only the moment of departure could have forced Albus to reveal how great and sincere that fear was.
Harry crouched down so that Albus’s face was slightly above his own. Alone of Harry’s three children, Albus had inherited Lily’s eyes.
“Albus Severus,” Harry said quietly, so that nobody but Ginny could hear, and she was tactful enough to pretend to be waving to Rose, who was now on the train, “you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew.”
“But just say —”
“— then Slytherin House will have gained an excellent student, won’t it? It doesn’t matter to us, Al. But, if it matters to you, you’ll be able to choose Gryffindor over Slytherin. The Sorting Hat takes your choice into account.”
“It did for me,” said Harry.
He had never told any of his children that before, and he saw the wonder in Albus’s face when he said it. But now the doors were slamming all along the scarlet train, and the blurred outlines of parents were swarming forward for final kisses, last-minute reminders. Albus jumped into the carriage and Ginny closed the door behind him. Albus then grabbed his trunk and set out in search of Rose.
He soon after found her dragging her trunk up the narrow corridor of the train, looking for an empty compartment.
“Hey,” he called after her.
“Hi!” she replied breathlessly. “I can’t find an empty compartment anywhere.”
“Well James is in this once with Felton and Gaetan,” Albus suggested, motioning toward a compartment not far ahead. “Do you mind sharing with them?”
Rosie shrugged. She doubted very much that James would welcome them into his compartment, but everywhere else was full.
As Albus swung open the compartment door, all three of the boys started. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Felton hastily stuff something into his trunk.
“What are you doing?” James asked with a bit more asperity than he had intended.
“Looking for a compartment, that a crime?” Albus retorted.
“Well, this one’s full,” Gaetan said, “so you lot can be on your merry way then.”
“No its not!” Albus said incredulously. “If you three would just move your trunks up top, there’d be plenty of room!”
“Given another circumstance, we’d be happy to oblige,” drawled James. “Unfortunately, our trunks would be quite distraught if we were to move them to the baggage rack. You see, they like cool breeze provided by the window, and it’s awfully stuffy up there.”
“C’mon James!” Albus pleaded, “The rest of the train’s full. There’s no where else!”
“I trust you’ll find somewhere,” James assured him, “You’re relatively small.”
And with a wave of his wand, James used the banishing charm to remove his brother from his compartment and slammed the compartment door.
“Bloody arse!” Albus said in frustration. “He thinks that just because he knows a few more spells than I do —”
“It’s alright!” Rose said, matter-of-factly. “You can plan revenge on your brother later. You know, when were not standing in a crowded corridor, compartmentless.”
“Right, sorry,” Albus apologized.
“Let’s head towards the back of the train. I bet there’ll be more free space back there,” Rose suggested.
Chapter Two: Scorpius Malfoy
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or plot elements taken from JK Rowling's Harry Potter series.
A/N: Here is the second chapter! Sorry it's a couple days later than promised!
There, in the last of the Hogwarts Express's trolleys, Rosie and Albus finally managed to find a compartment. As they looked in through the compartment window, Albus immediately recognized the pale blonde boy sitting inside from the platform.
“My dad didn't seem to like his father much,” Rosie warned.
Albus shrugged, “My father said that he turned out alright in the end, just took him a while to catch on.”
Rosie cautiously opened the door and looked at the boy.
“Mind if we join you?” she asked hesitantly.
The boy shook his head, no.
“I'm Albus Potter, and this is my cousin Rosie Weasley,” Albus said, holding out his hand.
“Scorpius Malfoy,” they boy replied.
“How are you?” Albus tried again.
The boy then took to staring out the window, as Albus and Rosie engaged in a game of exploding snap. Albus couldn't help but wonder what the boy was thinking about. He sat upright with perfect posture, and his hands here folded neatly in his lap. The wrinkles on his forehead formed a look of concern and his frowning mouth was twitching slightly. His pale eyes were indiscernible.
He then, quite abruptly, turned his head to face Albus. Their eyes met for a split second, before Albus quickly stared back at his Exploding Snap cards.
“Our grandfathers despised each other,” Scorpius said suddenly.
Both Rosie and Albus turned to look at him, but Scorpius was already staring back out of the window. Albus was still staring at Scorpius when Rosie whispered in his ear.
“Bit of an odd boy, isn't he?” Rosie asked.
As she said this, Albus could have sworn he saw Scorpius glance back at them out of the corner of his eye.
As the train pulled into Hogsmede Station, Albus started to feel a nervous feeling build up in his stomach. He knew that his father had said that it was your choice which House you were sorted into. But what if the Sorting Hat insisted that he did not have a drop of bravery in his blood?
The train came to a halt and Albus stood up and hastily pulled his trunk down from the baggage compartment, almost hitting Scorpius in the head while doing so. He mumbled an apology, but Scorpius did not reply. He did not expect one, for he had long since come to the conclusion that Scorpius rarely said more than was absolutely necessary.
The three of them disembarked the train, and waited for further direction. After a moment or so Rosie started.
“Look! There's Hagrid!” she exclaimed excitedly, pointing to Hagrid's unmistakably conspicuous body, pacing by the lake.
“Giant?” Scorpius asked.
“Half,” Albus corrected him. “He's really friendly though. Not vicious at all,” Albus assured him, seeing the look of contempt that had spread across Scorpius's face.
“My grandfather says not to trust half-breeds,” Scorpius said.
“Hagrid's great, really,” Rosie assured him. “Our parents were all friends with him at Hogwarts.”
“Surely your father must have mentioned him?” Albus asked.
Scorpius didn't reply.
The three of the followed their instructions and clambered into a boat along with a tan girl with long wavy blonde hair.
As soon as they were all situated, the girl turned to them and said, “I'm Alexis Holloway. And you all are?”
“I'm Albus Potter,” Albus said, holding out his hand to the girl, “and this is Scorpius Malfoy and my cousin, Rosie Weasley.”
“Pleasure to make your acquaintance,” she replied happily, shaking all of their hands in turn. “Are your parents all magic then?”
The all nodded.
“What about yours?” Rosie asked.
“Nah,” she replied, shaking her head. “Mine are Muggles.”
Scorpius stared at her intensely, his face full of interest. Alexis looked a bit taken aback, but hastily changed the subject.
“So, do you lot know what houses you want to be in yet?” she asked.
“Well, pretty much my entire family was in Gryffindor, so I'm not expecting much else,” Albus replied shrugging. “Even though my brother James claims that I'll be in Slytherin. I'm not sure if I believe him though.”
“I want to be in Slytherin,” Scorpius said solemnly. “Or, at least, my grandfather wants me to be in Slytherin. He said he'll be disappointed if I'm not.”
Rosie laughed, “Disappointed? That's nothing! My father said he'd disown me if I wasn't in Gryffindor.”
“Aw, come of it Rose, he was only joking,” Albus assured her.
“Funny thing is, I don't think he was,” Rosie replied sadly, the laughter gone from her eyes.
He couldn't find a reply to this. Truth be told, Albus knew that his uncle wasn't entirely kidding when he told his daughter that she better we in Gryffindor. However, there was no doubt in his mind that Rosie would be in any other house. Rosie was one of the bravest girls he knew, and no Weasley had ever been in any other House.
“What house do you want to be in?” Albus asked, turning back Alexis, and hastily changing the subject.
“Well,” Alexis considered, “they all have their perks, but I think I'd like Gryffindor best.”
Scorpius was, again, no longer paying attention. He had placed his long, pale index finger in the water as the boat glided through the lake, and stared fixedly at the village they were passing by. Albus glanced at him, and, again, wondered what he could possibly be thinking of. For, someone who so often wore such a troubled expression must have a lot on their mind.
The boats carrying the first years pulled swiftly up to the dock, and the first years hurriedly climbed out and followed Hagrid through the vast grounds of the campus, trotting to keep up. After what felt like at least a few miles, they finally reached the oversized oak front doors of the school.
Hagrid reached up his enormous hand, and knocked three times.
The door immediately opened and a thing women stepped greeted them.
“Good evening, Hagrid,” came the crisp voice of Professor McGonagall.
“Good evening, headmistress,” Hagrid replied.
“Good evening all,” Professor McGonagall said, addressing the first years, “and welcome to Hogwarts. In a few moments, you will follow me into the Great Hall where you will be sorted into your Houses.”
“How do you reckon they'll sort us?” Alexis whispered in Albus's ear.
“The Sorting Hat says what House you're in,” Albus explained.
Alexis snorted, “No seriously, what d'ya think they'll make us do?”
“I was being serious,” Albus said. “They make us sit on a stool in front of the school and put the hat on our heads, it then shouts out what House you're in. My brother, James, told me.”
“It just puts you in a House randomly? You don't have any control in what House you're put into?” Alexis asked, clearly perplexed at this process.
“Well, my dad says you have some choice in the matter. He said that the Sorting Hat wanted to put him in Slytherin, but he asked not to be, so he put him in Gryffindor instead,” James explained.
Alexis nodded, although Albus wasn't sure if she fully understood.
As they entered into the Great Hall, none of them could help but look around in awe. Instead of a ceiling, the hall opened up to the stars, but they could not feel the crisp autumn night air.
“It's just an enchantment,” Rosie whispered in his ear when she caught him staring at it. “My mum told me.”
“Oh,” Albus replied, mildly disappointed.
“Oooo look!” Alexis squeaked excitedly. “That must be the Sorting Hat!”
All the first years turned their heads, and the hat did something none of them expected: it sang.
The song detailed the descriptions of the four houses—Gryffindor was for those who were brave, Ravenclaw for the intelligent, Hufflepuff for the loyal, and Slytherin for the ambitious. This was stuff Albus already knew, he was anxious to try on the hat. Besides, his brother had given him a much better description of the houses.
According to James, Slytherin was where everyone interested in Dark Arts went—they were not the type of people you wanted to befriend. Hufflepuffs was where everyone without a brain went. “They're all a bunch of duffers,” James had said. Ravenclaw was probably the second best house, next to Gryffindor, of course. They were intelligent, but James claimed that they seemed a bit stuck up. Then, Gryffindor was the house anyone worth talking to was sorted into.
Albus wasn't too worried about being sorted into Gryffindor. However, he was bit worried that Rosie wouldn't be. Even though there was no doubt that she was brave, she was also really smart, and she worked really hard to always be best, and Albus didn't think he could bear being in a different house than his cousin.
Professor McGonagall then stood up and began to call out the students names.
A small boy with curly brown hair and tanned skin walked up to the stage, put the sorting hat on his head, sat on the stool, and waited. It took several long minutes for the sorting hat to finally call out.
The table second from the right cheered and Kellan merrily walked over to it and sat down.
A very tall skinny girl with black hair, pale skin and a hooked nose walked up to the stage and placed the sorting over her greasy hair. The hat waited a couple seconds before shouting.
A short boy with almost gray hair and an evil look about him walked up to the podium and placed the hat on his head. The hat came to a decision almost immediately after touching his head.
After, Elias Boot and Emmeline Bradley were sorted into Ravenclaw, Griffin Byrnes was sorted into Gryffindor and Florean Cauldwell was sorted into Hufflepuff, Albus began to grow weary. Quite honestly, he didn't really care what house everyone he didn't know yet was sorted, he was merely anxious to find out where he and his friends would be.
Finally, after Janelle Goldstein was sorted into Alexis's name was called.
Alexis walked up to the front of the hall and set the sorting hat gracefully on her head. It fell down over her eyes after she did this. It felt like hours passed before the sorting hat finally came to its decision.
Albus felt elated; someone he knew would definitely be in his house. So long as he was sorted into Gryffindor, he realized with a pang.
After what felt like hours, another name he recognized was called.
Scorpius Malfoy walked up to the stool and placed the large hat over his white-blonde head. The hat sat thinking on Scorpius's head for longer than he had expected. From what Albus had heard, the Malfoys prided themselves in being completely pure-blooded, and had been in Slytherin for generations. He would have guessed that Scorpius would have been placed in Slytherin almost immediately. After a few long minutes, however, the hat did shout,
Albus felt a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach now—it was almost his turn! The next few first years seemed to take centuries to sort. McMillan, Miles, Nott, Ockley, Pervell, Plympton, and finally,
As Albus walked slowly up to the stool, he could feel his entire body shaking. He had an uneasy feeling inside him. What if James was right? Came a nasty little voice. What if he was sorted into Slytherin? He placed the Sorting Hat on his head and waited.
“So,” came a voice inside his head, “another Potter. Your brother was quite the character. Are you a lot like him?”
No, Albus thought at once. But then, James was sorted into Gryffindor. Wait, he thought hard, willing the sorting hat to understand, Wait, I am like James. I mean, we have the same parents, the same lineage, both of our parents were in Gryffindor…
Before Albus could do anymore to try to convince the Sorting Hat, the Sorting Hat had already come to his decision.
The far right table erupted in cheers. He could hear his brother, Gaetan and Felton exhibiting their own particular brand of cheering that sounded like barking to Albus. He beamed, walked over to the Gryffindor table and sat down next to Alexis and across from his brother. In the excitement, he forgot to leave a spot for Rosie.
Time seemed to pass by more quickly now that Albus was sitting by James and Alexis. At first Alexis seemed unusually quiet around James, and when Albus introduced the two of them, her usually tan cheeks turned pink.
He and Alexis were constantly laughing at the somewhat rude comments James, Felton and Gaetan made about the first years.
“What did you say about me when I walked up there?” Alexis finally asked.
“Well,” Gaetan said, “James said that if you were just a few years older, he might invite you to accompany him for a moonlight stroll.”
“Except he didn't put it quite like that,” Felton added.
With this Alexis's cheeks turned bright pink yet again, and James told Felton to bugger off before playfully pushing him off the bench.
Albus felt a pang inside of him. Of course Alexis thought James what better looking than he was. James had sleek, dark brown hair that fell perfectly into place, adorable freckles spattered across his nose, broader shoulders and a more naturally muscular build, and perfect vision.
After Marilyn Towler became the ninth first-year to be sorted into Gryffindor Albus heard Gaetan mutter, “uh, oh.”
“What?” Albus asked, alarmed.
“There's only one more place open in Gryffindor,” Gaetan explained.
“Yeah, but who's gonna get it over Rosie?” Felton asked, surveying the small group of first years still huddled in-between the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff tables.
“I dunno,” James shrugged. “That Archie Wood kid is the son of that famous Puddlemere United keeper who was captain of the Gryffindor House team when my dad was on it three years in a row.”
“Yeah, but no Weasley has ever been in any other house,” Albus said pointedly.
“That's right,” said Felton. “We Weasleys are Gryffindor to the core.”
“Yeah,” his twin agreed. “Still I have a bad feeling about this.
After Ashley Waldgrave was sorted into Hufflepuff, Professor McGonagall finally called,
Rosie merrily trotted up the stairs and placed the Sorting Hat carefully on her head. After a moment or two the hat shouted.
Albus started as he heard this. There must have been a mistake. Rosie couldn't be in Slytherin, could she? If it had been Ravenclaw, he might have believed it, but Slytherin? He looked up and noticed that she was close to tears, but managed to keep her composure as she walked over to the Slytherin table. Before she sat down, she stared hat him from across the hall and shrugged, as if to say “it is as it is.” She then automatically sat down next to Scorpius, who did not look happy about this at all.