Ivy was right; nothing was ever the same.
Albus owled my parents and told them that I was in Slytherin that very night. They were shocked. They eventually got over it, but...it took them longer than I thought it would.
Uncle Ron, on the other hand, was a completely different story. He sent me a Howler, saying that I was a disgrace to the family and that I should stay away from Hugo and Rose or else.
That there started a family feud, it did.
The Weasleys divided. Uncle George, Uncle Percy, Granddad, Grandmum, James, Fred, Molly, Hugo, Rose, and Victoire were on Uncle Ron's side.
Dad, Mum, Al, Roxanne, Dom, Louis, Teddy, Lucy, Aunt Angie, Aunt Audrey, Aunt Fleur, and Uncle Bill were on 'my' side. Or rather, they just wanted an excuse to fight.
The Weasley/Potter family may seem perfect on the outside, but on the inside, it's really just a bubbling cauldron full of the wrong ingredients ready to explode. Rose never liked Dom; James always hated Aunt Audrey; Al didn't enjoy Fred's company; Aunt Fleur was about ready to rip Grandmum's head off; Teddy didn't like Molly.
The family dynamic is so complex, just on the brink of insanity all the time. I'm sure Grandmum was thinking twice about reproducing until she got her daughter. I'm sure Aunt Fleur regretted wanting another kid.
"Goodbye, sweetheart." Mum said, folding me into a hug. I almost rolled my eyes. My mum always had a smile on her face that didn't quite reach her eyes when she looked at me. That smile that somehow always slightly turned down at the corners, saying 'Where on earth did I go wrong?'
"Bye, mum." I said, half-heartedly hugging her back.
She passed me to Aunt Hermione, who hugged me and said the familiar message, "Stay out of trouble." Then she passed me to dad.
The ritual of me hugging my closest family members seemed to echo through the years, missing one person. Before dad took me in his arms, trying desperately to hold onto his little girl, to remember when she was young and innocent, I saw Uncle Ron. He was glaring at me. I turned away. It was painful.
"I love you, Lily." My dad said. He held me at shoulder-length. "No boys." He was half-joking, but I knew what he was thinking.
He didn't have to warn me. What boy would want me? Outcast of the Weasleys. I didn't even have the appeal of getting the guy close to my family because no one liked me.
"I love you." He said again. Nevertheless, it was like mum. The words didn't quite reach his eyes. He tried, oh, he tried so hard to love me the same way he loved Al and James. But it was different. And every day for the past one, two, three, four, five years, I had curled up under my covers and cried my eyes out.
Daddy, you said it didn't matter if Al got sorted into Slytherin. I heard you. You thought I didn't, but I did. It didn't matter if Al got sorted into Slytherin. You said you'd be fine with it. That you'd still love him.
Why did it matter for me?
Why don't you still love me?
"How painful was it?" Ivy asked as we walked down the hall.
"Imagine being burned at the stake for being a witch." I said.
Ivy nodded. "Yeah,"
"It was worse."
"That bad, huh?" Ivy asked sympathetically.
"Uncle Ron just kept glaring." I said. "And Hugo . . ."
"I know." Ivy said.
Ivy went through the same thing I did. She was from the Longbottom family. Neville and Hannah Longbottom were in the Great Battle of Hogwarts, and Slytherins were detestable to them. Therefore, when Ivy had made Slytherin, they were extremely disappointed. I remember Professor Longbottom wouldn't talk to anybody for the first week after Ivy's sorting. He was in shock, I guess.
"Well, we'd better find a compartment before they fill up," Ivy said bracingly. Ivy and I were polar opposites in a way, and that way was how we chose to deal with our situation. Ivy chose to plow through it with a 'suck it up' sort of attitude, while I chose to dwell on it and regret it, making me one big ball of black suckishness and general pessimism.
Ivy and I found a compartment at the very back of the train. We swung our luggage into the luggage racks and I made sure the door was shut before letting my tiny owl, Marina, fly around the room.
About ten minutes into the ride to Hogwarts, the compartment door opened. Marina took the opportunity to fly at the person and start pecking at its ear, her way of a greeting. The person, who had a mane of dark red hair, shrieked and screamed as Marina flew at her.
“Marina!” I called, and my owl flew to me. The person stood up straight, madly trying to fix its hair, and I realized that it was Rose.
“What were you thinking!? That owl nearly killed me!” She shrieked at me.
“She’s a smart owl.” Ivy said scathingly, standing. “What are you doing here, Weasley?”
Rose glared daggers at Ivy, but didn’t rise to the bait, and turned to me. “Potter, you left your necklace at the Burrow this summer, and Mum made me give it back to you,” She said, tossing something at me. I caught it easily.
“Thanks, Rosie.” I said in a patronizing tone. She looked like she was about to take out her wand and hex me. I wished she would. Let her try, I was ready. She may be older, but I knew some good curses that I was just itching to try out, and Rose made the perfect target.
But after a bit of seething and glaring, Rose turned away and marched out of the compartment, nose in the air.
“What a bitch,” Ivy complained, slamming the door shut and flopping into her seat. I stayed silent. Rose may be—well, she may be an absolute bitch now, but I remember when she was nicer. I can’t believe that part of her is completely gone.
Ivy and I talked for a bit, about how our summers were and what classes we were taking, and what we hoped to do this year. Just as we were getting to how we would deal with our families, Lorcan and Lysander Scamander walked in.
“Hey, Ivy, Lily.” Lorcan said, nodding to each of us.
Ivy grinned at him. “Lorc! What took you so long?”
Lorcan shrugged. “Mum was trying to spray us with ‘Wrackspurt Repellent.’”
Ivy nodded in understanding. Lorcan sat down beside her, and they twined their fingers together, signifying four long years of work on my part to get them together.
Lysander sat down beside me with a small smile on his face. “Hey, Lily.” He said quietly. Lysander was quieter than his brother, less outspoken, and more bookish. He was the thinking type. I liked Lysander. He was a good friend.
“Hi, Sander.” I greeted. “How was your summer?”
“Oh, it was fine.” Lysander said. “We went on another Crumple-Horned Snorkack adventure vacation.”
I snickered. It was common knowledge in our group that Lysander and Lorcan detested Luna Scamander’s eccentricities, one of their least favorite being her belief in the Crumple-Horned Snorkack.
“Did you find anything?” I asked jokingly.
Lorcan, who was listening to us, threw me a scathing glare, while Lysander responded, “No,”
“Of course we didn’t.” Lorcan said. “That woman’s batshit crazy. Honestly. Crumple-Horned Snorkacks.” He rolled his eyes.
I snickered. “You should talk to my Aunt Hermione, she thinks your mum’s full of dung, too.”
The train started pulling out of the station, and the scenery out the window quickly turned from city to farmland as Lorcan complained loudly about Luna’s eccentricities. Lysander agreed with him from time to time, but only Ivy was really listening to him, and even her eyes were dangerously close to glazing over. We had all heard this rant about Luna Scamander before.
The compartment door opened just as Lorcan was getting to complaining about Nargles. I looked over, and saw Al standing in the doorway. He came equipped with the Puppy Dog Eyes, and I dug in my pocket for any stray change I had. He wanted money for the sweet trolley.
“Lily, well, my mates and I, we were all ready to buy a bunch of sweets for us—I mean, you and us, but none of us have any money, and I was just wondering if you—”
“Cut the crap, Al, you weren’t giving any of your precious food to me.” I said as I tossed him the loose change that I had in my pocket. He caught a Galleon and a Sickle, and had to scramble on the floor for the rest.
“Thanks, Lils!” He exclaimed as he ran out the door.
“Every year he does that.” Ivy complained. “Why do you give him money?”
I sighed. “He’s one of the few people in my family that support me, Ivy. I don’t need to give him a reason to hate me.”
Ivy snorted. “I’m sure he wouldn’t hate you if you didn’t give him money for once.” I shrugged.
“I’ll take my chances.” I said with a shrug.
The rest of the train ride passed in mostly silence. Bits of conversation sparked here and there, but mostly fizzled out before they could turn into something real.
The announcement that we would be reaching Hogsmeade in five minutes came over the loudspeaker, and I realized I was the only one that wasn’t in my Hogwarts uniform. I shooed the rest of them out so I could change.
I know it was stupid, really, but I faced the window as I changed. Who was going to see me anyway? I was in the midst of pulling my grey, pleated skirt to my waist when I noticed the reflection of someone in the glass.
I shrieked and pulled my skirt all the way up, spinning around, attempting to quickly button up my shirt. Scorpius Malfoy was standing there, turning an unattractive shade of puce as he watched my efforts.
“What the bloody hell are you doing?” I said hysterically, pulling him into the compartment. Yeah, probably not the best idea, but you know what, I wasn’t thinking rationally, and I wanted him to explain why he was perving on his best mate’s little sister.
“I was just going to give you the rest of your money!” He hissed back, going from embarrassed to indignant in two seconds flat. “Al’s busy doing Prefect things and put me up to it! What the bloody hell are you doing changing in your compartment with the door unlocked? Anyone could walk in!”
“Really? Al still had money left over?” I asked skeptically, choosing to ignore his last question.
“Yes, he did. We’re not complete pigs, you know.” Scorpius handed over a few Sickles and a Knut. “And you didn’t answer my question, which was why was the door unlocked?”
“Because I didn’t think it would take that long to get decent! I’m not the one that doesn’t knock on compartment doors before entering them!” I complained.
“No one knocks on compartment doors, you idiot!” He said. “You’re just lucky it was me that walked in and not some future rapist or something.”
“I caught you staring at my arse, Malfoy. And if you call me and idiot one more time, I’m telling Al, and I’m sure he’d love to hear how much you enjoy perving on his baby sister.” I hissed at him.
What? I am a Slytherin, after all. I can’t use a little blackmail?
“I—I wasn’t staring!” He protested weakly.
“Oh, please, Malfoy.” I said. But I was turning red. For some reason, I had worn my only pair of suggestive knickers I owned—the black lacy ones. To know that Malfoy (he was officially Malfoy, now) had gotten an eyeful of that was embarrassing and weird, and to know that he was the first bloke I’d ever caught staring at my arse was even more embarrassing and weird.
And the bloke was two years older than me. Honestly, it was like he was robbing the cradle! Or staring at the people in the cradle, or however you want to say it! Doesn’t he have self-respect? Is he especially horny tonight or something? Is that just what blokes typically do in this situation? Why didn’t he just immediately close the door and come back later?
“Your shirt buttons are all screwed up.” Malfoy muttered, changing the subject.
I quickly fixed them, and then said, “Malfoy. Get out before my friends come back and see you. Go back to Al. Don’t tell him anything.” Malfoy looked extremely relieved, and I quickly said, “That doesn’t mean this is over! I’ll get back to you. In the meantime—” I grabbed a fistful of his shirt and put my face close to his, just for the effect. “Not a word.”
His only response was, “You have something in your teeth, you know.”
I let go of his shirt and stumbled away. “Shit!” I swore. “Which tooth? Tell me, Malfoy!” But the only answer I got was a slammed compartment door.