Chapter 1 : The Hogwarts Express
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In a compartment, which at best comfortably fits six children, Compartment H was always packed with at least fifteen squirming bodies; all red hair, elbows in ribs and inevitable accompanying havoc.
In such an environment of squished shoulders, misplaced wads of Droobles Best Blowing Gum and prolific ownership of the All-New range of Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes products, it was a miracle Rose Weasley and Albus Potter lasted until the Honeydukes Express lady walked past, to escape with two Pumpkin Pasties and a few Chocolate Frogs.
They both practically sprinted out the door with their treats, unnoticed amongst the bickering and eventual food fight that was sure to break out, and incredibly relieved to finally be free of the chaos that was their family.
Rose wandered ahead down the carriage, subconsciously looking for the face her father had pointed out to her on the platform.
Poor Ron, didn’t he realise that by pinpointing the boy, he would be igniting the curiosity of a mind like Rose’s, which was sure to accomplish the exact reaction he hoped to discourage?
Then again, Ron had always been rather tactless…
As she looked through the glass of the last compartment door, she saw him: blonde with a pale, pointed face.
She slid open the door and he glanced up in surprise.
One of his hands held a dog-eared old copy of Quidditch Through The Ages and the other was busily messing up the slicked back comb-over his mother had given him that morning.
Al caught up to Rose and entered first, “Anyone sitting there?” he enquired, immediately satisfied by the prospect of the boy being a Quidditch fan.
The boy’s expression was stony and emotionless, and he calmly replied, “No, help yourself.”
Al plunked down on the opposite seat, but Rose stayed by the doorway, curiously and openly sizing him up.
“My Dad pointed you out on the platform. You’re Scorpius Malfoy, son of Draco Malfoy, son of Lucius Malfoy ex-Death Eater.”
“And you’re Rose Weasley, daughter of Hermione Weasley, daughter of Dr. Wendell Granger ex-dentist. If you fancy reciting my family tree, I’ll save you the hassle. I know exactly what you're implying, and I’ve got as much to do with Death Eaters as you have to do with dentistry.”
His outward expression was collected and confident, however he fully expected the two to leave the carriage and abandon him.
He’d been warned about the Weasleys and Potters – the disgust he should expect from them because of his family’s past.
Al surprised him by sitting down, “So you’re a Quidditch fan? I’ve got to be honest, Quidditch Through The Ages is probably the only book I’ve ever read more than once.”
Rose contrastingly stood staring at the boy, consciously fighting the immensely shocked expression threatening to break out across her face.
She had never been confronted with such snappy repartee and was altogether disconcerted by the calm, mockingly-structured retorts of this pale blonde stranger, let alone his knowledge of muggle occupations despite his supposed pure-blood-supremacist background.
Suffice it to say she was more than a little outraged.
The blonde boy smiled slightly at Al and responded, “I just find Quidditch such a fascinating progression from initial games to the sport we play now and of course the surrounding culture that’s emerged-”
Al was a little taken aback by how he talked about the game and correspondingly, Rose was annoyed yet impressed at the boy’s socio-cultural interest in Quidditch.
Why hadn’t she ever thought of it like that?
Al’s face must have shown surprise because the boy paused mid-sentence then added, “Plus I’m an avid follower of the Wimbourne Wasps. I live near their home stadium, so I always go see their games, and even their training sessions if they let me.”
And with that the two boys began an intense discussion of the new season, their favourite teams and players, and the upcoming 2018 Quidditch World Cup.
They were united in the way that only Quidditch can unite two complete strangers, whilst Rose sat down and sulked silently at being so quickly one-upped by this Scorpius Malfoy.
The hours passed, and the blonde boy very cautiously introduced himself formally, “Technically my name’s Scorpius Malfoy, but everyone calls me Sam – except my grandparents.”
“The grandparents that only just escaped imprisonment in Azkaban…” Rose muttered under her breath.
“Pardon me?” Sam quickly cut in, letting her know he had heard exactly what she had said.
Rose lied smoothly, “I said what kind of derivative of Scorpius is Sam?”
“Well have you ever tried to teach a 2-year old that their name is Scorpius? It’s a bloody mouthful. So my Mum just took my initials, ‘SM’ and added the only sensible vowel.”
Eventually their conversation also led to Al’s discovery that his father was not merely the Head Auror at the Ministry of Magic, but the saviour of the Wizarding World.
“So that’swhy everyone on the platform was staring at us. I can’t believe they never told me!”
“You don’t think it was a good thing you didn’t grow up a celebrity? Your ego would have inflated to the size of a Nadroj troll,” Sam exclaimed.
“Yeah I guess. Rose, did you know our parent’s literally saved the entire world from the evilest Dark Wizard ever?”
“The Dark Wizard who Malfoy’s family supported? Of course, I came across it when I was about eight in Great Wizarding Events of the 21st Century, which I happened to be reading at the time.”
Al was confused, “Wait, supported?”
Sam looked at his feet and very quietly responded, “Yeah… my family fought on the other side but they switched at the last minute. My Dad’s done everything he can to make up for it, with charity centres and stuff. He was kind of forced into it anyway…”
A very awkward silence filled the compartment until Rose blurted out anything to end the agony, “You know all the parents made me keep it a secret, and once everyone started going to Hogwarts it became a kind of tradition for each child to learn of our history when they got there. Anyway we’ll be reaching Hogsmeade soon, so we should probably go get your robes Al.”
“I can get them on my own. You’re already dressed Rose, why don’t you just stay here?” Al suggested, wanting his Rose and his new mate to get to get along a little better.
In fact, Rose wanted nothing more than to never speak to this ‘Sam’ ever again.
She was exceedingly disturbed by the distinct upper hand he had acquired in their first exchange of words and her pride made her unwilling to repeat the process.
Sam, sensing her negative presumption of his character, decided to go with the safest topic he could think of, “So do you like Quidditch?”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
By the time Al returned to the compartment carrying his robes, it seemed a vehement screaming match between Celestina Warbeck’s backing group of banshees was taking place within.
“Quidditch isn’t all about winning, the Chudley Cannons have great spirit an-”
“Their motto is ‘Let's all just keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.’ In what way does that communicate great spirit? If you know a team plays boring – and frankly embarrassing – Quidditch, what on Earth could possess you to continue supporting them? Merlin knows you’re not getting anything out of it.”
Overlapping insults (Imbecile! You are so incredibly arrogant! The Wimbourne Wasps are such sore losers you ignoramus!! Well it’s not my profound idiocy senselessly supporting an abysmal team!) ensued until Al entered the compartment cringing.
“All right, all right, Rose get out, we need to get dressed, bye!” And he promptly shoved her out the door, sliding it shut firmly behind her.
Rose stood in the corridor quivering with rage, her ears and face flushed a florid bright red.
‘What an idiot,’ she thought to herself, turning to make her way back to the rest of her family.
Rose could feel a strange shiver remaining in the pit of her stomach since her argument, and she knew an emotion quite unlike anything she’d ever felt before was growing.
She decided it was pure hatred.
Meanwhile in the compartment, Al admonished Sam, “I was gone for five minutes. What the bloody hell happened?”
“I discovered you’ve got a psychopath for a cousin, that’s what happened. Completely barmy she is!” Al sighed, put out that his new friend and favourite cousin clearly didn’t get along.
They both changed into their new robes as dusk fell outside their window and their compartment began to darken.
“Looks like the train is slowing down, we must be getting close.”
Suddenly a voice sounded in their compartment, “We will be reaching Hogwarts in five minutes time. Please leave your luggage on the train, it will be taken to the school separately.”
Nervous excitement buzzed through Sam’s stomach as he and Al walked out into the corridor to join the other students, while Al heard his father’s voice echoing through his mind, ‘The Sorting Hat takes your choice into account.’
Sam and Al gradually made their way out of the carriage, following Hagrid’s calls.
“Firs’ years! Firs’ years follow me!”
Precariously attempting not to fall over in the darkness, Al, Sam, Rose and the rest of the First years followed Hagrid’s bobbing lamp down the steep, narrow path which led to the boats set on the edge of the Black Lake.
As they approached the boats Hagrid waved to Al and Rose, beaming down from his great height.
“Rose! Al! Hello!” They greeted him in return, then Hagrid pointed to the high mountain on the other side of the lake, “See that over there? That’s Hogwarts.”
The First years let out a collective noise of appreciation for the beautiful castle lit up in the night.
“Isn’t it amazing Al? I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so wonderful,” Rose exclaimed loudly in wonderment, proceeding to clamber into the boat in front of them.
Sam was worried at the prospect of having to sit in a boat with Rose, because he was battling the urge to push her and her loud, horribly annoying self into the inky darkness, but Al followed her in and Sam did not want to lose his new friend.
They did manage to make it across the lake without any fuss, mostly because all three were too awestruck to utter any words at all.
Their amazement did not stop upon entering the castle, as a tall thin witch who introduced herself as Professor Derwent led them to the Great Hall for the Sorting Ceremony.
After the Sorting Hat had sung Professor Derwent began to call out names.
After a short pause, the hat shouted.
"RAVENCLAW!” And so the sorting continued.
Sam, looking ghastly pale but with his calm mask placed solidly over his features, eventually climbed up to the hat, and after a few moments the Sorting Hat yelled out “SLYTHERIN!”
Al followed him shortly and was immediately sorted into Gryffindor and Rose received about thirty seconds of debate before also being placed in Gryffindor, joining many loudly cheering family members.
Once the sorting was finished Headmaster Brocklehurst, a woman of very large proportions, gave an immensely short welcoming speech and promptly helped herself to five chicken drumsticks.
She clearly wanted to begin eating as quickly as possible, however it was at this point that the feast was quite extraordinarily delayed by something unseen in all the years Hogwarts had ever held Welcoming feasts.
Al Potter, quite dissatisfied at being separated from Sam and the arrangement of seating by House, got up from his spot, waltzed over to the Slytherin table and sat down next to his friend.
A hush spread around the room, followed by whispers (Is that Harry Potter’s son? What’s he doing changing tables?).
Not expecting such bafflement from the majority of staff and students, Al piled some roast beef and potatoes onto his plate and started talking to Sam, ignoring the whispers that resonated through the Great Hall.
“You know seeing you get put in Slytherin almost made me change my mind about wanting to be in Gryffindor. If you’re here it can’t be as bad as James was making out, but the Sorting Hat was pretty quick at choosing for me.”
Composed as ever, Sam replied, “It doesn’t really matter anyway, we’re making history.”
They both grinned widely and continued on as if there weren’t hundreds of people gaping from shock at such scandalous dinner placements or newfound friendship.
Eventually the whispers stopped, and everyone’s desire to stuff themselves silly overcame their astonishment, however the story of Albus Potter’s dinner table escapades filled Hogwarts and its halls for weeks to come.
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