Scorpius Malfoy had never met any of the Weasleys before the first time he stepped foot on the Hogwarts Express, but by the time they reached Hogwarts, he had met three more than he would have liked.
He and his cousin Noah had found an empty compartment and were just starting to relax when the door slid open.
“Oh,” said a boy with dark red hair. “Sorry. I didn’t realize this compartment was full.”
Scorpius looked at the empty seats. “That’s because it’s not,” he said. “Go on, sit down.”
The boy gave a nervous smile. “Thanks,” he said as he sat down.
The girl who followed him in had a face that reminded Scorpius of the porcelain dolls his cousin Evelyn used to play with, and it was framed by hair that was much brighter than the boy’s. She looked almost angelic, so Scorpius was completely unprepared for it when she said, “I’m Rose Weasley,” in a tone so confident it verged on being outright bossy.
He was trying to sort out sure how someone could manage to sound bossy just by introducing herself when the boy said, almost shyly, “Albus Potter.”
The girl’s eyebrows went up. “Are you really?” she asked. “My father pointed you out on the platform, but I wasn’t really paying attention.”
“Why?” Scorpius asked, not sure why her father would bother to point him out.
“Oh, he and your father hated each other when they were in school,” she said casually.
“What were you talking about before we came in?” Albus cut in. The girl – Rose – shot him an annoyed look, and Scorpius decided that he liked Albus Potter, who clearly wanted to avoid unnecessary conflict in their first two minutes with fellow first-years.
“Just the Kestrals/Tornados match we saw last week,” Noah said. Their cousin Johanna had surprised them by showing up with three tickets for the first match of the season and taking them out to it to congratulate them on finally starting Hogwarts.
She had also made several jokes about making sure that they got Sorted into Slytherin, or at the very least not Gryffindor. Scorpius didn’t think that she really had a problem with Gryffindors – if she was, she probably wouldn’t have joined the Aurors – but it could be hard to tell with Johanna.
“Are you Kestral or Tornado fans?” Albus asked.
“Noah likes the Kestrals,” Scorpius replied. “I go for Portree, but I’ll see anyone play, really, I’m not that picky. Who’s your team?”
“The Harpies,” Albus said proudly. He seemed to be beginning to relax. “My mum used to play for them.”
“How about you?” Scorpius asked Rose, who had finally decided to sit down. She had already started to rub him the wrong way, but he was determined to at least try to be polite, especially since she didn’t seem to be capable of it.
“The Arrows,” she answered. “Of course.”
He decided not to ask why it was ‘of course,’ but before he could say anything else, the door to the compartment slid open. “I’ve been looking everywhere for you,” said the boy standing in the doorway. He had very messy black hair and a small smirk on his face.
Scorpius could already tell that he was not going to like the black-haired boy at all.
“What’s up with disappearing like that?” asked the girl standing next to him. She had darker skin than the boy, but there was a distinct family resemblance. Scorpius couldn’t tell whether it was actually something physical or the identical smirk on her lips, but he doubted that he was going to like her any better than he would the boy. “D’you want to pretend we’re not family now, or something? Because you’re going to find that difficult.”
The boy directed his attention at Scorpius and Noah. “I don’t know either of you,” he said. “First years?” When they both nodded, he moved further into the compartment and stuck out his hand. “James Potter.”
The girl mimicked him, and after they’d finished their introductions, Roxanne glanced around the compartment. “So what house do you want to be in?” she asked casually.
There was clearly a right answer, but Scorpius didn’t know what it was. “Whichever one I get put in,” he said, feeling lost.
“Slytherin.” Noah stared at James and Roxanne, at if daring them to say something. “That’s where my parents were.”
James laughed. “God, if they’d tried to put me in Slytherin, I think I’d have just left,” he said to Roxanne.
She snorted. “Like we’d ever be put in Slytherin,” she said dismissively.
“What house are you in, then?” Scorpius asked defensively. His mother and uncle hadn’t been in Slytherin, but everyone else had been, including all four of his cousins who had already attended Hogwarts. While it didn’t always run in families, he knew that the chances of his being placed there were fairly high, especially since he didn’t think of himself as particularly brave or particularly hard-working.
“Gryffindor,” James said proudly. “‘Where dwell the brave at heart.’ Just like my parents.”
Roxanne tossed her long braids over her shoulder. “And mine.” She leaned against the doorway. “What were you ickle-firsties talking about?”
“‘Ickle-firsties?’” Albus asked incredulously. The shyness that he’d shown when he was talking to Scorpius and Noah had completely vanished once his brother – Scorpius assumed it was his brother, anyway – had come into the compartment. “What does that make you?”
“Wise and experienced second-years,” James answered. “Of course.”
Scorpius was beginning to hope that he wasn’t in Gryffindor just so he could avoid James and Roxanne as much as possible.
“We were talking about Quidditch,” Rose said. “They saw the Kestrals play the Tornados last week.”
“Nice.” James snapped his fingers, as if just remembering something. “Oh, did we tell you?”
Scorpius had not actually thought that James and Roxanne could look more self-satisfied than they had a moment ago, but he saw now that he’d been underestimating them.
“We’re the new Gryffindor Beaters,” they said at the same time.
“How do you know?” Rose asked, a gleeful smile spreading across her face.
“My brother is the captain,” Roxanne said. “And he said so.”
At this point, Scorpius thought that he might just get on the train and go back home if he was Sorted into Gryffindor. From what he’d seen so far, Gryffindors were a nightmare. “Without tryouts? I suppose family connections make all the difference.”
She glanced over at him. “I suppose you’re just bitter that you don’t have any,” she said scornfully. “But no. He held tryouts at the end of last year.”
He knew he probably should feel embarrassed, but he was too annoyed. “My mistake,” he said, matching her tone.
She rolled her eyes at James, who looked more amused than anything else. “Anyway, Al, Rose, we have a compartment with Fred and Victoire. We came to find you so you could join us.”
Rose got up so quickly that Scorpius was a little offended, despite the fact that he could already tell that she would probably be just as big a nightmare as James and Roxanne. “Help me with my trunk?”
“Oh, that’s easy.” Roxanne got out her wand. “Wingardium Leviosa!” The trunk rose and she guided it out into the corridor.
“I thought we weren’t supposed to use magic outside of school,” Noah said.
She laughed. “What are you going to do, report me?”
James reached up to grab his brother’s trunk, but Albus said quickly, “No, leave it. Maybe I’ll join you later.” When James opened his mouth, Albus added, “I can spend time with my family all the time, I’d rather make friends with new people. Maybe later.”
James rolled his eyes. “Whatever. See you when you get sorted into Gryffindor.” He sauntered out after the two girls.
“Well, she couldn’t wait to get away from us,” Scorpius said dryly.
Albus grinned. “That’s Rose,” he said fondly. “But she’s a good person, honest. She’s my best friend.”
“If you say so,” Noah said. He sounded doubtful, and Scorpius privately agreed with him. Whatever house he got Sorted into, he hoped that Rose Weasley wasn’t in it. She seemed like a complete nightmare.
“Is everyone in your family in Gryffindor, then?” he asked Albus.
Albus shook his head. “Nah, not even close. There are eight of us already here, and only Fred, James, and Roxanne are in Gryffindor.” He sighed. “No Slytherins yet, though. I’ll probably be the first.”
“Would that be so terrible?” Noah asked curiously. “Almost everyone in our family has been in Slytherin. We’re cousins,” he added, when Albus looked confused.
“Oh.” Albus stared out the window for a minute. “I guess not. I don’t know. My dad said it wasn’t, but…” his voice trailed off. “I don’t know,” he said again. “I think mostly I’d just be really disappointed if I wasn’t in the same house as James and Rose.” Albus looked at the door. “Sorry about them. They’re just…” He shrugged. “They’re my family, and I love them?”
Noah and Scorpius laughed. “We have one of those,” Scorpius said. Noah’s brother Andrew had spent all summer educating them on the rules of Hogwarts, so they didn’t accidentally break them.
Albus looked a little relieved. “What’s that?” he asked, pointing to the somewhat tattered book lying facedown next to Noah.
“Prince Caspian,” Noah told him. He was clearly surprised when Albus’ face lit up. “You know it?”
“Those books were the only good gift my father’s muggle relatives ever gave me,” he replied.
“The magic’s totally off,” Noah said. Scorpius knew his cousin well enough to know that he was… well, maybe not exactly testing Albus, but gauging how much he actually cared, and how much he was just trying to make conversation.
Noah had spent far too much time with Scorpius, who didn’t especially care about Muggle books and was most interested in what the quickest possible route was to shutting Noah up about them.
“Who cares?” Albus grinned. “So who’s your favorite Pevensie?”
“Susan,” Noah said. “She’s the only sensible one. Who’s yours?”
“Edmund. He’s the most interesting one.”
The rest of the train ride passed pleasantly enough, and by the end, Scorpius was about as sure that he liked Albus Potter as he was that he disliked James, Roxanne, and Rose.
Hopefully, he’d be able to avoid them.
A/N: Prince Caspian is one of the Narnia books (in which Edmund and Susan Pevensie are two of the main characters) were written by C.S. Lewis. My personal opinion is that they ought to be a staple of everyone's childhood, even witches and wizards, because then everyone can share stories as adults about looking in the back of closets and wardrobes for Narnia when they were younger.
This fic is a prequel-companion-type thing to my story 'Curiosity Is Not a Sin.' If you enjoyed this, you might enjoy that as well. :)
Comments are always appreciated, but most importantly, thank you so much for reading!