Chapter 3 : The Hogwarts Expess
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Ron listened intently to his parent's conversation, grateful that they had forgotten to cast a spell to stop him from overhearing. He had noticed the subtle flash of anger in his father's eye when Draco had been proudly showing off his new Hogwarts robe. Dinner had also been unusually quiet. Ron and his twin were starting Hogwarts tomorrow and Draco was obviously exceptionally happy at the thought of attending the same school that their parents had studied at and met when they were both sorted into Slytherin House. Ron however, couldn't shake the unsettling feeling of unease since his mother had returned home from Diagon Alley and his mother and father said that they needed to discuss something.
Ron was supposed to be getting ready for Hogwarts the next day but he had to know the reason why his parents looked so tense and worried. "It has to be Ronald" his father hissed angrily "Draco wouldn't have had a problem gaining an invitation to Durmstrang" at that, Ron felt Ron felt his stomach twist with anger and hurt and knew that he couldn't listen to any more of his parent's disappointment in him and he left swiftly without hearing another word. "What, you don't think that Karkaroff is suspicious of Ronald do you? He couldn't possibly know that he isn't really our son could he?" Narcissa grew increasingly panicked at this thought. She stopped however, when Lucius took her hands and looked at her with as much sincerity he could muster even with panic boiling inside of him too. "Of course he doesn't suspect anything Narcissa. Ronald is going to go to Hogwarts tomorrow, be sorted into Slytherin just like you and I were and Draco will too of course and they can protect each other." At that he pulled his wife into a loving embrace and stroking her hair gently and reassuringly, whispered "everything will be fine, we'll see".
Ron was just finishing packing his trunk for Hogwarts. The elf had of course offered to do it but Ron had turned the offer down insisting that he needed something to do in order to distract him (but Ron also hated the idea of the elf packing his trunk when he knew that he would have also had to have packed Draco's and wanted to save him the extra work). He stopped when he heard a gently knock at the door and was about to yell to Draco to leave him alone because he really was the last person that he wanted to see right now until he suddenly realized that Draco never knocked to enter his room and if he did, he would never be gentle about it. Ron couldn't help but smile slightly when he realized that it was probably Dobby coming to offer his help to Ron (again!). His face however dropped when his father entered his room. "How are you son?" That was a strange question for his father to ask.
Without even thinking Ron replied and let all of his hurt and anger out "How do you think I am father?" He replied menacingly and was aware that he was treading on dangerous ground but couldn't find himself to care at that particular moment in time. "I'm sorry that I disappointed you. I'm sorry that I'm not as intelligent or strong as Draco and I know that I am often a disappointment in comparison to my perfect twin" Ron practically yelled and continued quietly at the look of confusion on his father's face "I heard you and mother talking". At that, Lucius' eyes flashed first with shock and worry and then anger took over.
"What?" he snarled menacingly grabbing Ron by the arm and shaking him roughly "why were you listening to our private conversation? What did you hear? ANSWER ME!" Ron was so shocked by his father's sudden aggression that it took him a moment to answer.
"I heard you say that Draco would have gotten into Durmstrang fine and that it was my fault that we didn't get in. I couldn't take any more and I left" Ron said fearfully but was then extremely shocked to find that his father had pulled him into a very quick and desperate hug before puling back and resuming his hold on Ron's shoulders.
"Ronald," Lucius started sincerely meeting his son's confused gaze head on and letting relief flood into his voice "Your mother and I are not, nor will we ever be disappointed in you son. It is Karkaroff who is the foolish one. You will cherish your time at Hogwarts as your mother and I did I'm sure. Now finish packing and get some rest. I guarantee, tomorrow will be a long day".
Four Malfoys stood on platform 9¾ awaiting the Hogwarts Express. The platform was relatively quiet because Lucius and Narcissa had insisted on arriving as early as possible (this shocked Draco and Ron because their father had taken the morning off work to see them off). Ron was confused at the nervous glances that his parents were shooting around the platform and at each other which did absolutely nothing to calm Ron's nerves of the thought of starting Hogwarts today. They were the first to board the train after Lucius had patted them on the shoulder and Narcissa had hugged them both tightly, whispering to Ron "take care son, I love you, just remember that" Ron felt very confused by his mothers words. And then they boarded the train. Draco and Ron headed to the back of the train; Ron didn't like the idea of not being able to see his parents on the platform when they were leaving but he suspected that Draco was excited about being independent and Ron really wasn't in the mood to argue with his brother.
They had been travelling for a #bout an hour when Ron decided that he couldn't take any more of Draco's speech about how great Hogwarts would be when they were in Slytherin and discussing all their parent's favourite professors when they had attended Hogwarts. Ron cut him off mid-sentence and hadn't been listening to a single word that Draco had been saying and he was feeling ill from his nerves and just felt the need to leave the compartment and swiftly did so, ignoring the protests of his twin.
Ron felt an overwhelming urge to be sick when he stood up and started walking wow Ron, calm down and stop being so bloody nervous! He thought to himself as he headed swiftly to the toilets before he would throw up on the corridor. He rushed forward, closing his eyes in order to stop the dizzying sensation he was feeling when he unexpectedly collided into somebody, knocking them both to the ground. He opened his eyes to see a mass of frizzy brown hair framing a very angry looking face as she stood up and smoothed out her robes. Wait... She's changed into her robes already? She must be eager. And Ron couldn't stop the amused expression forming on his face which only seemed to spur her anger on. "I'm sorry" she snapped "was I in your way?"
"As a matter of fact you were" he snapped back, forgetting his nausea for the time being. "In future, I would recommend doing something about that ridiculously bushy hair of yours so that it doesn't render you blind and you may actually see the world more clearly!" He was a little disappointed to see that his words hadn't offended her. "What were you doing standing the middle of a corridor anyway?"
"I wouldn't say that's any of your business would you?" she sneered "and just for the record, I happened to be minding my own business when you came crashing into me so thanks for the advice but I would probably recommend glasses for you in future" she stated defiantly.
"I'm sorry?" Ron questioned incredulously. Nobody had ever spoken to him with that amount of disrespect before.
"Apology accepted" she stated and had to turn away quickly to hide the amused look that was now forming on her face. Ron watched her march down the corridor and had to give her some credit for her bravery. Of course, she wouldn't know that he was a Malfoy and belonged to one of the most powerful Pureblood families in the Wizarding community.
Later, when Ron had changed into his robes and attempted to appease Draco's temper for walking out on him, he went looking for the girl again. He didn't really understand why but told himself that it was because he was seeking an apology from her for earlier. He did spot her, but she was talking to somebody who looked slightly familiar and was discussing something excitedly with him. He couldn't explain why but this seemed to anger him slightly but figured it must be the girl that made him angry and then realized that he recognized the boy from Madam Malkin's who was also being fitted with himself and Draco. Ron shook it off and went to sit back down in his compartment with his twin when he felt the train coming to a stop.
Ron felt his stomach lurch painfully with nerves and excitement as the train began pulling slowy into Hogsmead.
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