Chapter 3 : Pillions and Grand Entrances
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I stepped off the train, glad to be breathing fresh air after hours on the stuffy train. “Wow, look at that Scorpius!” I said, as I stared around at Hogsmeade, turning around to find Scorpius. He wasn’t there. I turned all around and saw James and Freddie pushing a first year up against the train. On a second glance, I saw it was Scorpius. What were they doing to him?
“JAMES!” I shouted, running up to shove him away from Scorpius. Freddie turned to me and pushed his finger into my face, “Why are you keeping company with scum like this?” he spat, turning back to Scorpius, snarling. “What are you trying to do, Malfoy?” He said, each word venomous. Scorpius paled considerably, and turned to me, pleading.
What was I meant to do? My cousins were picking a fight with my friend. “STOP IT FREDDIE!” I shouted, panicking about Scorpius’ well-being. “He isn’t scum, he’s my friend!”
Freddie turned to me again, James at his side. “Don’t you remember what your dad said? What we said? Don’t you care about what we say?” Demanded James, his eyes showing his rage. “We do it for you, we want the best for you!” I crossed my arms. I wasn’t going to let them walk all over me.
I opened my mouth to retort, but stopped short—Albus had walked up behind James and Freddie, grabbed them roughly and dragged them off. As they left, I heard him say “Leave him alone. He may not be like his father.” Were they holding a grudge because of Malfoy Senior, aka Ferret Face?
I sighed, glad that they weren’t bullying Scorpius anymore. I turned to him, “You don’t really believe what they said do you?” I asked, hoping the answer was no. He looked miserable. I rolled my eyes. He couldn’t actually believe those sods could he?
“You aren’t scum Scorpius, if you were, do you really think I’d be your friend?” I said, linking arms with him and following the light of Hagrid’s lantern, who had just turned up to lead the first years to the boats. “Besides, I choose my own friends, I don’t need them to tell me what to do.” I said defiantly.
“Maybe you should listen to them” He said, unlinking arms. I stood still, his words feeling like a slap in the face. What?
“What do you mean?” I asked sharply, running to catch up and falling back into step with him.
“I mean,” he said, raising his eyebrows to look at me, “that I don’t want to be the one to separate you from your family. That could happen if you’re friends with me.” He said, dragging his feet along the gravelly path.
“I don’t care what they think. I told you that, didn’t I?”
“Yes, but you should still do what they say.”
“Well you aren’t exactly doing what your family say, are you?!” I spat, angry that he could even say that to me.
He stopped abruptly. “You know,” he said, smirking, “that’s a very valid point.” I glanced at him. How can he go from unwilling to cheery, just like that? I growled at him. Yes, growled. I blame Dom, she’s rubbing off on me, her with her werewolf tendencies.
“Did you just growl at me?” Asked Scorpius, his mouth hanging open with a look of disbelief etched upon his face. I scowled at him, crossing my arms.
“Don’t.” I said, snarling slightly, as he tried to supress his laughs.
“Don’t what?” He said, laughing as he poked me in the tummy. I couldn’t help but smile, his laugh was just so contagious. “You knew what I meant.” I said, re-linking our arms and dragging him forwards. We reached the pebbled shore where several boats lay.
Hagrid was bustling about, ushering First Years into the boats as he tapped them with his pink umbrella. Pink. Really Hagrid?
“No more than four to a boat!” Boomed Hagrid, waving his lantern in the air as he stepped into his own boat.
I pushed the boat into the water until the water was lapping at my shins, then jumped into the rickety wooden boat, clutching the sides as Scorpius followed my lead and leapt in. I looked around for the oars.
“Are we supposed to row there?” I asked. I could just about see Hogwarts through the fog. It was a long way to row. The other boats had gone ahead.
“Not sure” Scorpius said, “I think so.”
“Well, considering there are no oars, that could be a slight problem” I said, sarcasm leaking into my words. He looked at me as if I were an idiot—which I wasn’t—and reached beneath him, unearthing two oars.
“Lets get rowing!” He said, with fake enthusiasm. I picked up an oar, and dragged it through the water, wishing I could have gone in the carriages with the others. Then I remembered I hated them. I paddled more ferociously, until Scorpius pointed out that I was splashing him slightly.
I glanced up. I didn’t splash him slightly. He was soaked the skin. Oops.
We were about to pass clear of the muddy bank we had been paddling alongside, when we heard someone cry out. “Wait!”
I heard footsteps and looked behind me to see a girl, in her first year with a boy who looked exactly like her. They were both clutching toads as the slipped across the mud towards us.
“Wait! It’s the last boat!” They cried in unison. That was weird. Scorpius and I exchanged looks, then we both grabbed the oars and thrust them into the murky water, stalling the boat. We turned around to look at the girl and boy as the boat drifted along.
Without warning the boy took one big stride off the bank, and landed in the boat, rocking it fiercely. The girl soon followed suit, throwing her toad to the boy before leaping in, landing on her feet. Almost like a cat.
“Hi” The girl said, breathless. She gestured between herself and the boy. “Twins, Longbottom.” She said. Longbottom?
The boy rolled his eyes, and said clearly, “We’re the Longbottom twins. She’s Alice, I’m Frankie.” He held his toad up. “This is Snelly. She’s a girl by the way. And the other toad is Glub.”
“I like toads,” Scorpius said suddenly, his eyes bright, “can I hold Snelly?” Frankie handed his toad over quite happily as I thrust one of the forgotten oars at Scorpius, as I began to row once more.
“So, your dad is Neville Longbottom?” I asked, curious to know if it was what I thought.
“Yep, the one,” Alice said proudly, “and the only.” Frankie finished. They reminded me of Roxy and Freddie. Then I remembered I still hated Freddie.
I groaned out loud, then flushed red as Alice, Frankie and Scorpius stared at me. Of course. They can’t hear the voice in my head. They think I’m groaning at them.
“Sorry, not you, just, my cousin is a twin, but I hate him.” I said, not making much sense. Alice and Frankie looked knowingly from each other and then to me, and then stated simultaneously, “Nargles.”
“What are Nargles?” I asked.
“Creatures.” Jamie said vaguely.
I nodded, “Who’s your mum?”
“Hannah Abott” Frankie and Alice said.
Then I realised where I had heard the names from before. My mum and dad went to Neville and Hannah’s wedding, they showed me the pictures. We never did see them in person because the Longbottom’s then moved up to Ireland for a ‘short spell’. If by a short spell you mean staying there for 11 years. I guess they must have moved back.
Oh no. They’re staring at me. It just got awkward. Wait, I’ve been staring at Scorpius for last 5 minutes or so. Of course they’re staring at me! I’m doing it again! I need to stop making facial expressions when I talk to myself. It can’t be good for my mental health. Balls! I did it again. I spoke out loud to myself. Oh Merlin. Snap out of it, Rose!
I glanced up, and bit my lip. Yep, they were full on staring. “Uh, sorry, dreamland.” I said, gesturing madly for no apparent reason. Why do I even do hand gestures? What does that even achieve? NOTHING!
“Dreaming about me obviously, considering you were staring at my gorgeous face.” Scorpius said, messing his hair up even more.
How can he even say that? He was staring at me in a smug kind of way. There goes the smirk. Oh Merlin. “Scorpius, I was dreaming about hippogriffs. Not you.” I said quickly, trying to hide my embarrassment. Hippogriffs? Really, Rose, really?
“Of course.” Scorpius smirked. Again with the smirk! What a jerk. Ha! Jerk smirk. He does have a jerk smirk. I keep getting side-tracked. I need to stop staring into space. It just proves his point.
He was still smirking at me when I snapped out of my trance-like day dream. Time for drastic measures. In a split second, I leapt across the width of the boat, grabbed the front of Scorpius’ robes and shoved him back forcefully, sending him yelling obscenities into the murky water.
“Rose!” Alice screeched, “He could get hypothermia!”
“And die!” added Frankie, leaning over the side of the boat.
“Guys, he won’t die. This is Hogwarts.” I said.
“Just because we’re at Hogwarts, does not mean he won’t die of hypothermia.” Alice stated.
“Missing the point guys!” Shouted Scorpius, who was swimming towards us. “A little help maybe?” He asked, staring pointedly at us. His hair was slicked back, and his robes were floating around him as he got closer to the boat.
Something stirred in the water behind Scorpius, who immediately froze. Alice gasped as Frankie’s knuckles turned white as he clutched his seat.
“What’s behind me?” Scorpius asked, as a single tentacle rose out of the water, dripping water on Scorpius before plucking him out the water, and shaking him slightly before dumping him back into the boat.
“Giant Squid.” He said, shell-shocked. “Of course it was a giant squid. Why not?” His face was a pale green, and he was visibly shaking.
I had to laugh at this, so what if he was my best friend. I had the right to laugh. And so I did, more so when he glared at me. If looks could kill, I’d be dead five times over. I wiped a tear from the corner of my eye as Hogwarts slid out of the mist.
“Hogwarts!” Squealed Frankie, unable to contain his excitement, leaning over the boat even more to get a proper look at the castle, losing all hopes of manliness in doing so.
“Frankie, get back in, unless you want to tip us ou—“ Alice began, but too late. Frankie tipped the boat over, sending us into the freezing water. It felt like concrete as I face-planted the lake. I just had to go face-first. I struggled to the surface, gasping for air.
“Frankie you idiot!” I screamed, swimming for the boat. I clung to it, and held my hand out to Alice. She grabbed my hand, and pulled her to the boat, which was upside down.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to.” Frankie said as he and Scorpius reached the boat.
“Seriously, I fall in twice. Twice!” Scorpius exclaimed, thrashing at the water with his hands.
My hair hung in rats tails as I tried to turn the boat over. I failed. “Well, it doesn’t look like we’re going to be able to turn this over.” I said, “We’re better off just swimming and towing the boat along.”
We put words into actions, and dragged the boat through the water. It took about ten minutes to reach Hogwarts, and by that time we were extremely exhausted. And late.
We left the boat in the boat house, and climbed the ladder onto the jetty, slipping slightly. We crunched along the path up to the doors. It was locked.
“Damn!” Alice shrieked. “We’re going to miss the sorting!”
“No we’re not, look, there’s bound to be another way in.” I said, feeling along the wall.
Frankie eyed me suspiciously. “What are you doing?” He asked slowly, as I brushed some creeping vines away from the wall. I ignored him.
“I said, what are you do—“ he began to say again, but stopped as a rumbling sound filled our ears. A door appeared where I had just been fiddling with the wall.
“Secret passageway!” Scorpius exclaimed, his eyes lighting up.
“There must be a button or something behind the creepers.” I said, as I peered at the door. “Wonder where it leads to.”
“Only one way to find out!” Frankie said, shoving us all out of the way as he flung the door open. It was a staircase. I paused. I didn’t want to go first. Alice and Frankie both seemed very reluctant too, and were clinging to each other tightly. I raised my eyebrows at Scorpius, who sighed and stumbled forwards in the dark.
“Lumos” I muttered. I’m so glad Mum taught me that spell. A dull glow lit up the stairs as we began to hurtle up them at the speed of light, eager to see where it led to now we had light, our fears brushed aside. We started to tire pretty quickly, and the staircase seemed to spiral away forever.
“Are we there yet?” Alice moaned, almost crawling up the stairs. Frankie hauled her into an upright position and dragged her along as Scorpius bounded on up, evidently not tired. A light other than my wand light filled the stairs as we climbed more crumbling stairs. Fervent to see the source, we bounded up the last few steps and found ourselves on a platform, blinking in the bright light.
“Where are we?” I heard Alice whisper. I blinked to clear my eyes. The light really was blinding.
“Oh. My. Merlin.” Squealed Frankie. He really had lost all traces of manliness. We looked to him as he pointed downwards.
We were above the Great Hall.
“How,” I started, “Is that possible?” The Great Hall is charmed so that the ceiling looks like the sky outside, so how could we be above it. As if reading my mind, Scorpius nudged me, “There is a ceiling, it just doesn’t look like it from the bottom.” He said as if it was all clear and simple. It wasn’t. It made no sense.
Frankie clicked his fingers to gain our attention, “Yes, well that’s all well and good but how are we going to get down?” He enquired. Ah. Yes, getting down.
Then I saw the cushion behind us. It was pretty big. We could throw it down before jumping. Is that what it’s there for?
“I have an idea,” I said, “Follow my lead” And with that I dropped the cushion off the platform, and watched it crash down in front of all the tables. We could hear the murmurs of the confused students as I sat on the edge of the platform.
“Wait what are you doing?” Scorpius said, clearly realizing what I was about to do. I slid off the platform before he could stop me, and landed square in the middle of the giant cushion pillow thing. Lets stick with Pillion.
I climbed out of the Rose shaped dent I had made in the Pillion, and bowed to all the students who were staring at me. I had just seemingly dropped out of the sky.
I heard a soft thlump behind me, and saw Scorpius join me out the corner of my eye. Two thlumps later told me we were joined by Alice and Frankie. I glanced behind me and watched as the pillow rose up towards the ceiling and out of sight. Weird.
I stared out at the sea of heads. Awkward. Nobody was speaking at all.
Then someone started clapping. Then another person. And another and another, until the room was filled with applause. I felt a hand on my shoulder.
“Nice of you to join us Miss Weasley, Mr Malfoy, Longbottom’s.” Said the voice of Professor McGonagall, as she led us towards the line of first years waiting to be sorted, a smile playing on her thin lips.
She waved away the noise, and continued talking as if we hadn’t literally just dropped out the sky.
I fidgeted as I waited for the sorting to begin, and soon enough, it did.
“Autumn, Sophia.” Professor McGonagall said, reading from a roll of parchment. A little girl with waist length brown, wavy hair stumbled to the stool and placed the hat on her head.
A few seconds later, the hat shouted, “RAVENCLAW!” The girl peeled the hat off and sat awkwardly at the Ravenclaw table, who was cheering at the new addition.
I waited for what seemed like forever as “Creevey, Colin” was sorted into Gryffindor, and “Goyle, Cassie” went to Slytherin, until finally, Alice was called forwards. She went to Gryffindor. As did Frankie.
He shuffled to the stool, and placed the hat on his head. His face was screwed up, and he shook his head a fair few times. The minutes went by, and a murmur arose from the students. This was the only stall of the year. Eventually, Scorpius opened his eyes, and glanced around the room, before looking up into the rim of the hat. The seams where the hat’s mouth was started to twitch.
He slid off the stool, replacing the hat, and walked self-consciously over to the Gryffindor table. Nobody was clapping.
“A Malfoy? In Gryffindor?”
“Isn’t he the son of the guy who killed Dumbledore?”
“That’s right, his father was a death eater.”
People were whispering as he sat down shakily. Professor McGonagall restored order by shooting sparks into the air. The Great Hall fell silent. “Thank you” breathed McGonagall, as she continued with the sorting until—
“Weasley, Rose.” A firm voice called out.
I walked to the stool, and dropped the sorting hat onto my head.
Hello Rose Weasley. Quite an entrance there, if I say so myself. But to the point. I see loyalty, kindness—a trait for Hufflepuff. But I see intelligence, a Ravenclaw no doubt. But wait, again I see something else. You aren’t the one to walk away from a fight. No, you’d rather fight it out, but if you lost, well, you’d take revenge. So perhaps Slytherin? No! Not Slytherin! Anything but that! Not Slytherin? You are much like your father. And your Uncle. Harry Potter no less. He said the exact same thing when he was sorted. Defiance. You showed that right there. Bravery. Well, you interrupted the speech didn’t you? With your little performance. I’d say that was brave. Are you sure you don’t want to be in Slythe—no? Well, if you’re sure, better be “GRYFFINDOR!” The hat shouted finally.
I slipped off the stool, replacing the hat, and walked over to the Gryffindor table as they cheered for me. I sat next to Scorpius and high-fived him.
From that day on, we’ve been the best of friends. Despite James and Freddie, and most of the Wotter Clan hating Scorpius. It’s obvious that’s not going to change. But, like I said before, I shouldn’t let them walk all over me, and so here I am, five years later, sitting in the Great Hall once more next to Scorpius as we talk about our Summer Holidays.
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