Chapter 1 : An Owl, a Hat and a Train
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‘You have your toothbrush?’
‘Got your wand?’
‘Nope, must of left it at home. By the way, what’s that great big white thing with wings in a cage right in front of you?’
‘Not funny Rose. This is serious. You have your underwear?’
‘Dad, please. Not here.’
‘I take that as a yes. You’ve got your books?’
And so the list went on and on. My obsessive, neurotic, vividly ginger father had taken it into his whole hands to destroy my social life before I even arrived at Hogwarts. Merlin’s soggy teabags. My life - full of awkward moments and red-headed cousins - was too much to handle for the ordinary eleven-year-old, but growing up in the Weasley-Potter-Delacour-Granger family gave you a sort of immunity to blushes, faints and hissy fits. I had learnt to just grin and then bitch about it to my few friends.
‘Oh Rose! What about your collapsible cauldron? Did you pack it?’
As the complete inventory of my suitcase rolled out of Dad’s mouth, I mumbled vague ‘yup’s and ‘uhuh’s, while trying to look through the two thousand or so other people on the platform to find Scorp and Dom.
Right. Scorpius and Dominique, those aforementioned few friends of mine. Where do I start? It’s a bit pathetic that your friendship circle (or triangle, in my case) is made up of a guy who is descended from Death Eaters and whose father your parents hate the guts of, and your cousin that shares you last name. But then, I’m not a very nice person, some people remark that I am too nice to the point where I seem sarcastic and then they think that everything I say is a lie, and that anything anyone else says is a lie, and begin to question the meaning of life, the creation of the universe, and what is the point of living anyway.
Needless to say, this is not your everyday person’s cup of mental tea. But the Great Friend-Matchmaker in The Sky happened to bless me with two other eleven-year-olds who are just as weird, if not weirder than I am. What? I hear you say. Shock! Horror!
Well, yeah, basically. These adjectives and quite a few more are what describes the strange (and by strange I mean strange) trio that we are. But I was damn well happy that they were going to school with me, nevertheless.
As I squished, ‘Sorry!’ied and ‘Excuse me,’ed my way to where Scorp and Dom were standing, by the seventh train car, immersed in smoke and sharing a bag of Bertie Botts’, I took a moment to look at them.
They had changed. And this was weird, because I saw them yesterday.
Dom seemed taller, more dignified and well, taller... Scorp seemed taller too, a lot taller. And also blonder (which was hard). My eyes made their way down to their shoes, Dom wearing a pair of bright cherry-red Doc Martins (which I bought for her) and Scorpius some worn out looking grey runners. And then my eyes made their way lower. ‘Damn,’ I muttered, my deep and slightly pretentious epiphany about first days of magic school making you look more grown up, being destroyed. ‘Rose! Rosie!’ Scorp called, from his position standing on the foot high step between the platform and the train. Well, so much for grown - up thoughts.
As the Hogwarts Express made a satisfying ‘choo, choo’ noise, we all kissed teary and loving goodbyes to our relatives, guardians, dogs and pygmy puffs, before entering the train. It was my first time on this vehicle, and I looked around at the cosy and welcoming plush exterior while Dom dragged me by the sleeve to a free compartment.
Scorpius followed us, and as we finally managed to grab the compartment (some burly-looking sixth years did not look happy about this), Dominique and I both took the window seats, and Scorpius sat by Dom, an intense grin on his face.
‘Ohmigod, I can’t believe it! We are going to Hogwarts, to Hogwarts, to Hoooogwarts!’ he fangirled maniacally.
Dom looked at him strangely. ‘Yeah, Scorp, we’re going to school. Like lessons and tests, and annoying teachers and bitchy girls. This is a sad moment. A sad moment.’
‘I agree with Scorp,’ I said pointedly, looking at Dom. ‘Hogwarts is going to be fun, not like our stupid, boring, muggle schools. We can hex people in corridors, eat amazing food, play Quidditch-‘
I was cut off by Dom who made a comment about me being awfully like a travel brochure.
‘- and,’ I continued, ‘we’ll have eachother.’
Scorpius clasped his hands together, ‘That’s so cute, Rosie!’
Then Dom, always the skeptic, made a quite relevant statement (and take out your cameras, ‘cos this is a very rare sighting).
‘Sorry to interrupt the chorus of angels, but, guys, what if we get sorted into different houses? Like, I know I’ll be in Gryffindor, ‘cos, like duh, but Scorp might be put in Slytherin.’
Scorp made a fake retching noise. ‘Well, let’s go through this methodically, shall we? One, do I show signs of being a manipulator, and am a bit greedy?’ he asked.
‘No,’ Dom and I both agreed in chorus. Scorp was by far the nicest, most selfless and kind person I knew. Yeah, Dom was different, still nice and all, but very loud, very confident, and very vain. Which were not especially bad things when wrapped up in the strawberry-blonde package that is Dom.
‘So not Slytherin then. Two, am I super intelligent and are books my best friends?’
‘Well, yeah...’ I started.
‘Um, no.’ Said Dom plainly, yet still kindly. ‘Let’s move on.’
‘Not Ravenclaw. Three, am I hardworking, incredibly good-looking and not particularly wonderful at anything?’
I pondered this. ‘Well, you are possibly the laziest slob I know, I guess if I wasn’t your friend I might find you okay in the looks department, but you are incredible at Herbology, so I’d go no.
Dom nodded sagely. ‘Yeah, what she said.’
Scorp looked mildly outraged. ‘By the way, I’m not a lazy slob, I’m just not particularly motivated by many things in life. But that does rule out Hufflepuff.’
Dom rolled her eyes, and I laughed.
‘So,’ I said in a deep voice, imitating the Sorting Hat. ‘you shall be in Gryffindor!’
Everyone (the previous generations of the Malfoy family excluded), knew that Gryffindor was and is the best house. So many incredible wizards (ahem, my mum, dad, aunt and uncle, among many others) had been in Gryffindor. My parents gave me ‘the talk’ saying that if I wasn’t in Gryffindor, it would be okay, and they would still love me. My dad grimaced a bit though.
But really, I wasn’t going to end up in Hufflepuff, with all the super-lovely people. Definitely not Ravenclaw, which is just packed with pretentious snobs who think they’re so ‘intelligent’. And Slytherin? Well, maybe...
No, that would be ridiculous. I told myself to stop worrying about it and woke from my brief daydream to find Scorp and Dom arguing over who got the last Bertie Bott’s Bean.
‘Come on, Scorp!’ whined Dominique. She and Scorpius both seemed to be playing tug of war with the one inch long khaki coloured bean. ‘You know that olive green looks really good on me. You definitely can’t pull it off, it clashes with your eyes.’
Scorp scoffed. ‘Yeah, right, Dom. You look like a pickled gherkin in that stupid frilly dress your Gran got you. Give me the bean!’
‘Um, I’ll have you know that that dress was French,’ Dom huffed loudly, as if being French made something of the highest authority. As these times, I really remembered the fact that she was part Delacour.
As I looked in an expression of mild bemusement, the train slowly made it’s way towards Scotland. We passed through moors, heaths and forests, and slowly the sky darkened to a shade of thick, midnight blue. An inkspill over the Earth.
We arrived at Hogwarts an hour later, by which time Dom had fallen asleep, head on Scorpius’s shoulder. Scorp was looking distinctly uncomfortable about this, so I assisted him in dragging the sleep-soaked Dom to the exit of the train.
‘Dominique! Wake up! It iz time for your Maman’s birthday parrrty!’ I hissed in Dom’s ear, in my best imitation of Fleur Delacour.
‘Oh -‘ Dom yelled a very obscene word, the sort that people don’t expect Hogwarts First Years to yell loudly in the middle of a train, but they do anyway.
Scorpius burst out laughing and I giggled at the haughty and ruffled look on Dom’s face.
‘Not funny. Really, really unfunny,’ She muttered, lifting her trunk onto the platform. But a slight grin made its way onto her face, and we ended up catching a boat to the magnificent castle laughing our heads off for no reason whatsoever.
Soaking wet, and standing in the large foyer-like room at the entrance to the Great Hall, us bunch of soggy and pathetic looking First Years were a rather miserable and unpleasant sight.
I was still standing, shivering, with Dom and Scorpius, when a shortish girl with raven-black hair and a pointy nose walked over to us.
‘Oh, you must be the daughter of the best friends of Harry Potter!’ she remarked, staring at me like I was some sort of exotic specimen.
Now, at this point, you must know that I hate it when people refer to me as the daughter of the best friends of Harry Potter. It’s like I’m not a person, not even like a celebrity-not-a-person. Like I am known by my hair colour for being somehow related to Harry Potter. Well, yeah, okay, I am. But why can’t I just be Rose?
Dom scowled at her (no doubt annoyed that the girl didn’t recognise her). Scorp took a step forward and said rather hostily, ‘Who are you?’
‘I’m Saffire Skeeter. And you’re a Malfoy, you’re from a family of Death Eaters. Rose,’ she said, turning to me. ‘You shouldn’t associate with people like the Malfoys, especially with parents like yours.’ she looked at me pointedly.
Scorpius looked crushed. Dom let out a small hiss.
‘Don’t know why you are so peeved Weasley. Rose deserves better than you, too. Slag.’
This outraged me. ‘I’m sorry, Skeeter. I choose my friends on the basis of their personality. I don’t even know you and you are already coming over and insulting my friends. I don’t know whether it is because you don’t even recognise specimens of decent human beings, or you are just a dumb arse. But I do know, that for Health and Safety reasons, you should probably piss off. Right now.’
I glared at her. She scowled back.
‘You looked like a nice person, I‘m sorry that’s not the case. Obviously you don’t need normal friends who stand up for you. I was just trying to convince you to do the right thing. I guess I’ll be seeing more of you, Rose.’
She turned away. ‘Fat chance!’ I cried after her. ‘I doubt you’ll be put in Gryffindor!’
Dom looked at me. ‘That little cow. You know her mother was a right pain to your parents, Uncle Harry and my mum.’
Scorpius nodded. ‘My dad kind of egged her on. Git.’
‘What house do you think she’ll be put in?’ I asked worriedly, as the doors to the Great Hall were starting to open.
Dom thought. ‘I dunno. Not Hufflepuff or Gryffindor. Bet you she’s Ravenclaw, kind of reeks of one. Or Slytherin.’
While Dom had been speaking, I had been watching Scorpius’s pale face. Usually a startling ghostly shade of grey, he had been turning greener and greener and now looked decidedly sick. He seemed to be staring at the stool on which stood the shabby Sorting Hat.
‘You ‘kay, Scorp?’ I asked.
He nodded as Dom looked very worried.
As the first student, a ‘Aaronson, Josh’, was placed in ‘HUFFLEPUFF!’, I was starting to feel rather nervous too. But really, I had nothing to worry about. I just say to the hat that I would like to be in Gryffindor, and then I go to the table.
‘Chang, Xanthe’ was welcomed to the Ravenclaw table with tumultuous applause, and by this time, the nerves were really creeping in. I felt like I was about to throw up. Seriously.
Time seemed to fly, and then, the stern Professor McGonagall that Hugo had told me about came to ‘Malfoy, Scorpius’.
‘You can do this, okay, Scorp,’ I said, trying to be comforting.
‘Now go up there and be amazing,’ whispered Dom.
So, shaking wildly Scorpius sat on the stool, placed the hat on his head and -
And Scorpius grinned hugely, as a huge noise erupted from the Gryffindor table. And then, my Scorp, ever the entertainer, threw up.
All over Professor McGonagall.
He apologised profusely, but you couldn’t hear it over the even louder roars of the Gryffindors.
Dom and I hugged and smiled.
The line of nervous First Years grew shorter and shorter, until ‘Skeeter, Saffire’ was put into Ravenclaw.
‘Oh god,’ Dom grimaced. ‘I’m glad she isn’t in Gryffindor! But those poor Ravenclaw girls. And guys, as a matter of fact.’
Then, before we knew it - ‘Weasley, Dominique’.
Dom, strode up, wearing an aura of confidence, but her eyes looked terrified.
The Sorting Hat took a bit of time, but then - ‘GRYFFINDOR!’
I clapped and smiled, but then realizing that I was next abruptly stopped and stood still, with the expression of a zombie until Professor McGonagall called out my name.
I walked up, my feet felt like they were trapped in cement, every step that of pain and terror.
I looked around the hall and saw two thousand eyes looking right at me. I sat down on the stool, put on the hat and closed my eyes.
‘Hello, my dear. Another Weasley! You lot are so predictable, all brave at heart. All Gryffindors. I’m getting a bit tired of it actually. Why don’t we try something interesting! An experiment.’
‘NO! No, I want to be in Gryffindor with my friends, don’t put me anywhere else!’
‘Don’t be silly, dear! My job is to put everyone where they belong. You belong in...’
‘STOP! I belong in GRYFFINDOR!’
‘Fine, then. If you are sure, you belong in...’
‘GRYFFINDOR!’ the hat roared. I smiled. YES! I was with my friends, and my family wouldn’t hate me. I walked towards the Gryffindor table.
Why weren’t the Gryffindors clapping?
But someone was. A lot of people were. I scanned the hall and saw one of the four tables, in which people were standing on seats, yelling and congratulating me.
And then it clicked.
The hat hadn’t said Gryffindor.
It had proclaimed -
I hope you like this (my first fanfiction), if so, I'd love it if you could review! Even if you don't like it, a review with feedback and explaining what is bad about it/what I could do to make it better would also be much appreciated!
I have finally gotten around to editing this chapter (yay!).
Stunning chapter image by milominderbinder @ tda.
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