Chapter 1 : The Announcement
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As always, there was a tense standoff as soon as we stepped onto Platform 9 ¾ . This had happened every year since James’ first, and it had gotten old fast. What made it worse is that it was more my dad’s doing than Uncle Harry’s. Luckily, mum was quick to the draw this year and pulled my dad over to the side before the rest of the Platform noticed.
Let me take this time to introduce myself: I am Rose Weasley, currently sixteen years of age, and a resident of Gryffindor House. I am the top in my class, taking after my mother, though I look like my father. I have a pain-in-the-tush little brother named Hugo, more cousins than I care to name, and an affinity for Quidditch. Oh, and I posses a deep, burning hatred for Scorpius Malfoy.
“Rose, you had better steamroll him this year,” my dad said, a murderous glint in his eye as he shot a death glare at the back of his former nemesis’ pale head, “I’m talking grades, Quidditch, being the first to class, everything!”
“Steamrolled, Ronald, really? You’ve been watching far too much muggle television,” my mother said disapprovingly, “Rose, dear, don’t listen to your father. Scorpius Malfoy seems like a nice enough boy. Make nice with him with you?” The train whistle cut through the air, cutting off my response. My mother swooped down and gave me a back-breaking hug and then went off to find Hugo.
“Kill him, Rose,” my dad murmured as he hugged me. I had inherited his shockingly red hair and freckles, but I had my mom’s warm brown eyes.
“Sure, dad,” I said, and he nodded happily. I made my way onto the train and found an empty compartment. I stuck my head out the window just in time to see my mother throw Hugo onto the train just as it started moving. She and my father waved emphatically until we had rounded the corner.
With a contented sigh I stretched myself out on one of the seats and cracked open a book. I was supposed to sit with my best friend, Gemma Hart, but she had gotten sick over the holiday and wouldn’t be arriving until the next day. I had other people that I could sit with, but I was an extreme introvert. So for now it was just me and my book. That was, until the carriage door slid open.
“Can we sit with you?” my cousin Albus asked as he stuck his head in the door. He looked exactly like his father: dark, unruly hair, green eyes, round glasses.
“Sure,” I said before thinking, “Wait, ‘we’?”
“Morning, Weasley.” A tall, pale, blonde figure barged in and plopped himself down across from me. Great. Scoripus Malfoy.
“Albus—“ I started as he sat next to his friend. Albus had been put in Slytherin which, unfortunately, meant a friendship with Malfoy.
“Look,” he said, holding his hands up, “This was the only compartment left, and I made him promise to be nice.”
“Fine,” I said, “Just leave me in peace.” Fat chance of that.
“What are you reading, Weasley?” Scorpious asked, getting up and leaning over me to see my book.
“Albus,” I said, more calmly than I felt, “Please inform your friend that if he does not get out of my face in the next five seconds I will put a hex on him so powerful that he will never be able to have children.”
Like a good little juvenile delinquent, Malfoy backed off.
“What got your knickers in a knot?” he asked, “Maybe if you would lighten up you would have more friends—“ A bang like a gunshot exploded along with a flash of green sparks. A shriek followed it.
Albus and I dissolved into hysterics as I slid my wand back into my robes. Scorpius looked back at us, furious. He didn’t bother me after that and I was able to enjoy the rest of the train ride and my novel.
The carriage ride was uneventful—I managed to snag a seat with some of my fellow Gryffindors. The Great Hall was decorated exquisitely, as usual. I sat with my Gryffindor cousins, James and Lily. My other cousins and my brother had infiltrated the other houses. It made Quidditch matches quite interesting.
“Settle down, settle down,” Headmistress McGonagall said from her perch behind the podium. The sorting had ended, everyone had eaten, and dessert had disappeared off of the table.
“Now, a few announcements before we dismiss. Welcome to our new students. You should be made aware that the Forbidden Forest is, quite obviously, forbidden for students at all times. All students should note the expanded list of banned items on the wall outside of the caretaker’s office. Quidditch tryouts will be announced in two weeks. Anyone interested in going out for their house teams should inform the team captains before that time.
“And the last announcement is specifically these sixth years,” With a wave of her wand she conjured a scroll, which she read off a list of names. Mine, Albus’, Gemma’s and Scorpius’ name were among about fourteen others, “Tomorrow morning immediately after breakfast you are to remain in the Great Hall for a very important meeting. The staff has decided to try an experiment and we feel that you would be the appropriate candidates. That is all. Good night!”
“I wonder what that will be about,” James mused as we got up and made our way to the common room.
“I guess I’ll know tomorrow,” I said, shrugging.
“You’ll let us know as soon as you find out?” Lily asked.
“Of course,” I said. Albus caught my eye as we made our way out of the hall, his face bemused. I shrugged and shook my head. I had no clue, either.
“So she didn’t give any clues?” Gemma asked the next morning as she squirted ketchup over her eggs. She had arrived at the castle just a few minutes before and was starving.
“How do you eat that?” I asked. She shot me a look. She was very sensitive about her odd eating habits, “Nope. Not a one.”
“That’s strange,” she said, and then shrugged, “I guess we’ll find our sooner or later.”
“I want to know now, though,” I said, thinking hard.
That was a big difference between Gemma and me. I wanted the facts. Now. She was content to wait, blissfully ignorant, until the answer revealed itself. She thought I needed to mellow out. I thought she needed to tighten up a bit.
Finally, the only students left in the Great Hall were the sixth years. We all looked anxious—most of us had managed to work ourselves up over whatever the heck was about to be said. We were all ordered to gather at the heads of the tables closest to the staff table. I caught Albus’ eye as we moved and he nodded at me.
“Students,” Headmistress McGonagall said, “You are about to embark on a project that could change the course of Hogwarts history. We have debated on doing this since your parents were in attendance here and finally got the go-ahead from the Ministry this summer. This project is very serious and could possibly affect the rest of your life. Children, I have two words for you: planned parenthood.”
Those of us who had been raised by muggles or muggle-borns laughed and were relieved to see the corners of McGonagall’s mouth twitch. The rest of the students looked around, dumbfounded. If you are a witch or wizard, you don’t have to worry about trivial things like accidental pregnancies.
“Now, take a moment to get your minds out of the gutter while I explain. The staff has decided that though Hogwarts teaches you how to get by in life magic-wise, we have done you a great disservice by stopping your education at that point. There is a lot to be learned about managing a home and a family and what better an environment to do it than here?”
Yes, I thought, here with Quidditch and homework and classes and exams…but that was the point, wasn’t it? When we became adults we would have even more to worry about.
“The project is simple: you will be put into groups of three; two parents and one child. The parents and children have already been predetermined. A new common room has been set up specifically for the families involved in this project. Branching off of the common room are living spaces for the families: three bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a den. If you’ll look around you’ll notice that only some of you have been chosen. Don’t make me regret it.
“Now for the groups: Ms. Hart, Mr. Potter, Mrs. Karol.”
I squeezed Gemma’s arm encouragingly as she went to stand by Albus and Leah Karol, a dark-haired Ravenclaw. McGonagall waved her wand and the three disappeared in a flash of white light. There was a gasp and a few screams, but when the light dissipated Albus and Gemma still stood there, looking a little shell-shocked. Gemma held a small, dark-haired baby in her arms. McGonagall ordered them to move aside as she called the next trio up.
The pattern continued like this four more times: three teenagers, flash of white light, two teenagers and a baby. I didn’t look around me to see who was left, but I knew what was coming. I was in the last group.
“Mrs. Weasley, Mr. Scamander, Mr. Malfoy.”
I knew Lorcan pretty well. His mom was friends with my parents, and we had been shoved together for play dates for ages. He nodded at me, and I nodded back. His twin brother had already been turned into a baby, cooing happily in the arms of a blonde Hufflepuff girl.
Then came the flash.
There was a rush, like standing too close to the train tracks, and then it was gone. I felt the baby in my arms as soon as the light dissipated. Please, I prayed before I glanced to my side, please let Malfoy be the baby.
I glanced quickly to my side: white-blone hair, pale skin, icy blue eyes. Malfoy. Just great.
“Now,” McGonagall said, “Before we dismiss you to your new rooms, there are a few things that you should know. First: each child has been charmed so that if it is in any immediate danger a teacher will appear in the room instantly. Since you will be living together, don’t let them find you in a compromising position,” there were giggles silenced instantly with an icy look from the Headmistress, “Second: You will be given a free period every day to bond with your new family. The rest of the day you are responsible for the care of your child. That means that you either have to take them to class with you, send them with your partner, or have another student watch them for you. No one under fifth year may help you.
“Lastly, if you look down at your left hands, you will find wedding bands have been placed there. You are now unofficially married to your partner to create the semblance of a family for your child. They will remember you as their mother and father
and it is your responsibility to keep it up. Now I will escort you to your apartments.”
Holy crap on a crapsicle. Within the space of thirty minutes I had been married and had a baby.
With Scorpius Malfoy.
And now I had to live with him.
This would not end well.