The young girl looked around in amazement, wondering how something so magical and fantastic could exist. Dozens upon dozens upon dozens of witches and wizards were bustling about with trollies, pets, children, and other family members. There were screeches of excitement mixed with some sniffles.
Smoke billowed all around the place, almost concealing the bright scarlet train that rested on the tracks underneath it. Of all the stories she had heard, she couldn’t fathom how someone could even try to explain it because no description ever came close to what she was seeing before her.
Turning around, the young girl saw the red hair she had seen in the previous memory. Instead of the young woman she had expected to see, she saw a child, around the same ages as her. Her mouth opened slightly in shock. “Rose?”
“Rosie, don’t go too far ahead! We have to wait for your father and Hugo,” a voice called toward Rose, who was walking ahead of what the young girl assumed was her mother.
Suddenly, Rose stopped in her tracks, her trolley jerking slightly. The young girl turned to see what had caused her to stop. She wasn’t exactly sure, but there was a young boy with platinum blonde hair and steely grey eyes who was looking at her. The young girl looked at Rose and back to the boy a few times.
“There you are! Ah, found the Malfoy’s have you?” a deep voice asked. The young girl turned around to see a man with red hair that matched Rose’s standing behind her. His hand rested on her shoulder, and he nodded toward the man that stood behind the young boy. “Do me a favor, Rosie, would you? Make sure to beat Malfoy in all your classes? You have your mother’s brains, thank Merlin, but even if you just get Acceptables on everything –“
“Ron!” Rose’s mother scolded.
Ron leaned closer to Rose and continued quietly as if he had never been interrupted, “and are beating Malfoy, that’ll be okay. Oh, and I’d really try to stay away from him too. Malfoy’s usually are slimy gits. Just ask Granddad.”
“Hermione, I’m just trying to make sure that our Rosie has the best year she could have.”
“You’re just using the past –“
“To continue on your ways of not enjoying the positives of having complimentary wizardry relations. After Hogwarts, the Houses really don’t matter,” Ron, Rose, and Hugo, the young girl assumed since he had walked up with Ron, said together.
Clearly, it wasn’t the first time that they had heard the lines. The three of them went into a fit of laughter as Hermione, Rose’s mother, pursed her lips slightly. It looked as if she were trying not to laugh at the situation.
“What did we miss over here?” a young woman asked. She had hair just like Ron and Rose did.
“Albus!” Rose said excitedly as she spotted another young boy about her age.
“Oh, you know,” Ron said nonchalantly, not noticing Rose’s sudden shout. “’Mione’s trying to give us a lesson in honorable wizardry relations again.”
“Why this time?” a man with jet-black hair and emerald green eyes asked. The young girl looked at him curiously, wondering why he seemed so familiar to her. He had glasses and lightning shaped scar. Instantly, she knew who he was. He wasn’t just the character that was in her stories. He was right here… And that meant that Ron and Hermione were actually his best friends. The three of them were the golden trio, as she had heard them being referred to a numerous number of times. And the other woman with the red hair was Ginny; which also may have meant that the man that stood behind the young boy Rose had been staring at was Draco Malfoy. Suddenly, she became start struck and wasn’t listening to the conversation that was going on between them. She couldn’t believe she was actually seeing them, memory or not.
“If you forget anything or you’d like something from home, owl me,” Hermione said to Rose, who nodded in response.
“Don’t forget what I said,” Ron said.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, another boy came running toward them, shouting, “Dad! Dad, you’ll never guess what I just saw! Teddy Lupin was SNOGGING Victoire Weasley!”
Lupin was a name that the young girl had heard before too. He was the man who was also a werewolf. She didn’t remember his name being Teddy though. What was his name, she wondered.
“Leave them be, James,” Harry had said, shaking his head slightly, although there was a smile on his face.
Without realizing what she was doing, the girl was stepping on the train after Rose. After her and Albus waved goodbye, the girl stared out of the window at the group she had considered heroes. Ever since she can remember, she heard of them constantly and had only wished they were real.
“Let’s go find a compartment?”
“Yeah,” Rose said.
They walked, and the young girl followed behind them. They passed compartment after compartment. Stopping at one, they saw James, who was surrounded by his friends.
“Can we sit in here with you?” Albus asked.
“Rule number one: The train ride is where you’ll meet your best friend in ninety-nine percent of cases!” James exclaimed, a grin on his face. “Keep looking, Al.”
Albus rolled his eyes as he shut the compartment door. “I swear, sometimes I wonder if we’re truly related.”
“Well,” Rose said with a slight chuckle, “he is right, isn’t he? Our dads met on the train, along with Mum. And your dad has told us that Sirius Black and your granddad had met on the train too.”
“Must you always agree with James?”
“Only when it makes sense.”
Finally, they made it to the one compartment they hadn’t tried and opened the door, revealing the young Malfoy and another boy with chocolate skin. Their heads turned to look at Albus and Rose.
“Everywhere else is full. Do you mind if we sit here?” Albus asked as he looked between the two boys, his voice thick.
The young Malfoy boy nodded before his eyes went to Rose. Her brows were furrowed, but her bright blue eyes didn’t waver from his grey ones. After Albus sat down, he looked up at Rose.
“Rose, are you going to sit down?”
“No,” she said. The young girl noticed that her voice shook slightly. “I think I’m going to change into my robes before I do.”
The young girl looked at Rose to see that she was already in her robes. What was she getting at?
“You already have your robes on,” the unknown named boy said.
“Right. Well, I have to use the loo. Excuse me.”
Without another word from any of them, Rose turned around and began to make her way down the train again. The young girl followed, wondering what was going on through Rose’s mind. Did she really have to go to the bathroom? Was it just an excuse? Where was she going to sit? Where was she going to go besides walk up and down the aisle?
“The bathroom’s the other way,” the young Malfoy boy said behind Rose, his hands in his pockets.
“What?” Rose asked as she turned around. When she saw it was him that spoke to her, her body tensed slightly. “Thank you. Are you following me?”
“All I did was see you go the wrong way to the loo, and I wanted to let you know. I’m Scorpius. Scorpius –“
“Malfoy,” Rose finished for him. “Thank you for the help.”
“Sure. See you back in the compartment?”
Rose shrugged in response and walked past him. The young girl continued to follow her until they were both in the bathroom. Rose looked at herself in the mirror.
“You’re Rose Weasley. You’re going to be sorted into Gryffindor. You’re going to make friends. You’re going to have the best time.”
“Do you give yourself a pep like that every day?”
Suddenly, another young girl popped out of one of the stalls with a slight smile. She had sandy blonde hair that was tied into a braid and blue eyes. She was a few inches taller than Rose.
“Did I scare you? I’m sorry. My dad tells me I have the tendency to do that some times. He says I’ll be a great Chaser one day, although he’s a Keeper,” the girl explained as she washed her hands. “I’m Gabby Ryan. Is this your first year as well? My dad has been telling me stories for years about Hogwarts. I was so nervous I wasn’t going to get a letter. So, I’m just grateful that I’m here. What’s your name by the way? I’m sorry, I was being rather rude. My mom tells me I talk a little too much sometimes.”
“I’m Rose Weasley,” Rose answered simply.
Suddenly, everything around the young girl was dissolving once again. Then she was on a boat, looking up at the grand castle that Hogwarts was. It only lasted a few seconds before she was standing in a hall, surrounded by a bit more than a dozen witches and wizards. She looked up at the grand table that was before her and turned around to see the four House tables.
“Gryffindor, right, Albus?” Rose asked as she looked at him.
“Maybe,” he shrugged, a playful glint in his eyes. “I don’t think Slytherin would be so bad. Malfoy and Zabini were actually pretty cool.”
“Malfoy?” Rose looked astonished. “You can’t be serious.”
“Scorpius Malfoy,” a woman, most likely a professor, called out.
Scorpius walked up to a stool and sat down. The woman just about put the hat on his head when it shouted, “SLYTHERIN!”
One of the far tables began to shout. The young girl watched as Scorpius walked over with a grin on his face. When she turned back, she looked at Rose, and something seemed to be different. It seemed almost as if she were disappointed.
“Good luck,” Rose whispered to him before he walked up to sit on the stool.
It took a little longer with Albus than it had with Scorpius, but after a moment, the hat shouted, “SLYTHERIN!”
Again, the table began to shout, but it was slightly louder than it had been for Scorpius, along with some chanting. The young girl looked to Rose, and she could see the disappointment on her face this time. It made her seem as if she were older than she was.
Rose jumped slightly and quickly made her way to the stool. She sat down on it, and like Scorpius, the hat barely grazed her head when it shouted, “GRYFFINDOR!”
The young girl followed Rose as she skipped over to the table. She sat down next to Gabby, who was sitting across from James.
“We did it!” Gabby shouted as she hugged Rose tightly.
“Crazy about Al, isn’t it? Guess I shouldn’t have teased him so much about it!”
“He used to hate Slytherin!”
Everything dissolved again, and now they were in a classroom. The young girl noticed Albus and Scorpius in the classroom with Rose.
“You guys will pair yourselves up, then I’ll create groups of four.”
The young girl instinctively knew that Rose and Gabby were together by the way they nodded at each other. Rose looked over her shoulder at Albus.
“Done? Good. One person from each pair raise your hand. Good. Weasley, take your partner and go to Potter.”
Rose suddenly hung her head back slightly and let out a sigh. She looked to Gabby and rolled her eyes. Gabby gave her a comforting smile before they made their way to Albus and Scorpius.
“Hello! I’m Gabby. Gabby Ryan.”
“Hi there. I’m Albus, and this is Scorpius,” Albus answered. He looked at Rose and smiled. “How was your first night?”
“It was good. Yours?”
“Fantastic! The common room is brilliant!”
“I’ve heard your common room’s quite cozy,” Scorpius said.
Ignoring him, Rose looked down at her notes, but Gabby responded. “Oh, it’s wonderful! Can’t imagine anything better!”
“Settle down, settle down,” the professor called.
Suddenly, there wasn’t a classroom anymore. They were outside in the stands. Everyone was cheering. The young girl watched as there was one person zooming around and around the Quidditch pitch. Eventually, they landed on the ground, and the rest of their team came rushing up to him, crashing into their body.
Quickly, things moved, and Rose was walking into a room beneath the stands. The young girl watched curiously as she followed Rose.
“James, I know you’re in here,” she said softly as she stopped. “You didn’t head up with the rest of the team or anyone else. You played brilliantly out there. I heard from an older student that there’s going to be a party.”
After a pregnant pause, James finally showed himself and smiled at Rose. He walked over to her and handed her a small, golden, winged ball. She took it in her hand and held it gently. A smile came to her face.
“I’ll be the star of the party. Are you going to come?” he asked, ignoring her questioning eyes.
“I don’t know. I have a lot of homework.”
He nodded. She wanted to hand the ball back to him and tried, but James shook his head at her. “No, I want you to keep it. You should.”
“But you caught it.”
“Why don’t you want it?”
“I already have my fair share. Besides, by the time I get out of here and go onto becoming a famous Quidditch player, I’ll have loads!”
Rose laughed. “Somehow, I can picture that.”
“Of course you can! It’s my future!” he said with a grin. When she didn’t respond, James’s eyes furrowed, causing him to look more like Harry. “What’s wrong, Rose?”
“It’s nothing… I’m just being silly.”
“You? Not a chance,” he responded. “You’re too analytical to be silly. Unless, of course, you’re helping me with some pranks.”
“We’re going to need to do that soon. I miss it.”
“We’ll start planning some. First, I want you to tell me what’s wrong.”
Rose sighed and sat down on the bench, James following suit. “So far, everything’s just a lot more different than I thought it would be. Al isn’t in Gryffindor, and he and Scorpius Malfoy are becoming really close friends. Every time I think about it and about Scorpius, I just get this feeling in my stomach, and I can’t shake it.”
“Just because you’re in separate Houses doesn’t mean that you guys can’t hang out or anything. Has he been ignoring you?”
“No, not at all. He’s always around Scorpius though.”
“Has Scorpius done something? Do I need to go punch him?”
“Nah,” Rose chuckled. “Dad said to stay away from him as much as I could.”
“Well, maybe see for yourself. My mum said that after the war, things changed. I’m sure your mum would say the same. Although the animosity between Slytherin and Gryffindor is still there, especially with Quidditch, doesn’t mean that all Slytherin’s are bad. I mean, Albus is there,” James said, nudging her shoulder with his. “Can’t be all that bad.”
“But if Scorpius ever does anything, you let me know, all right? I’ll take care of him,” he said with a wink. Rose laughed, and James gave her a quick hug. “Want to take a broom for a ride?”
“I-I don’t know about that… I can hardly get through my own Flying lessons…”
“You just don’t have the best teacher. C’mon, let’s go!” he said eagerly.
Grabbing his broom, he hurried out of the locker room, Rose following close behind. The young girl followed them quickly and stayed a little way back, just watching them. She had always wondered what it would be like to fly on a broom with the wind flying through her hair and just the feeling of being free.
The Quidditch pitch was dissolving around them, and the young girl was back in the place where she had watched the sorting. She looked for Rose at the Gryffindor table, but couldn’t find her. As she scanned the room, she was surprised to see Rose making her way toward the Slytherin table. Quickly, she hurried toward her, wondering what was going on.
“Rose! Want to join us?” Albus asked happily.
“No, I already ate. Plus, I wanted to get to the library before class. I haven’t been there yet, surprisingly.”
Albus laughed. “You’re joking! You’re going to love it.”
“You’ve been there?” she asked incredulously.
“Oh, yeah,” Albus said. “Scorpius wanted to see see if there was anything good.”
“You like books?”
Grimacing at her, Scorpius looked up at her. “Am I not allowed to?”
“I didn’t say that.”
Without another word, Scorpius stood up and walked away from the table. Rose looked at Albus, who shrugged, not knowing what had just happened either. Instead of staying and talking to Albus, Rose followed Scorpius. The young girl had to run to catch up.
“Scorpius, wait!” Rose called after him. He didn’t wait. He didn’t even pause. “Come on! Where are you going?”
He continued to go up staircase after staircase, which made the young girl curious because from her stories, the Slytherin common room was in the dungeons. Perhaps things had changed?
To her surprise also, Rose continued to follow him. He finally stopped on the fourth floor and started to go down a corridor. He walked into a room, and when the young girl followed Rose in, she realized it was the library. Of all the places, why would he come to the library?
“Scorpius?” Rose asked timidly as she walked further into the library. “I don’t even know what I’m doing up here or why I followed you. I shouldn’t have.”
As she turned around to walk out of the library, he grabbed her arm and pulled him toward her. She seemed to freeze, her face looking shocked.
What’s going on? What is he doing? The young girl wondered as she watched curiously.
“Let me go,” Rose said sternly. When he didn’t, she slapped him across the cheek. “I said, let me go.”
“What’s going on over there?” a voice came from one of the aisles the bookshelves made. Scorpius and Rose both remained silent.
“Weasley, are you kidding?” Scorpius hissed in a hushed voice.
“I would apologize, but you didn’t let me go.”
“So you slap me?”
“What else did you want me to do? You were hurting me.”
Scorpius scowled at her. “Before coming here, my father said that I should try to be cordial to you and your family. I do just that, and what do I bloody get? It’s no wonder Albus can’t stand you.”
The young girl could see tears forming in Rose’s eyes. However, Rose was able to keep her composure and ignored his comment about Albus. “Funny. My dad said the exact opposite about you. He warned me to stay away from you.”
“Funny,” he mocked. “You’re here with me right now because you followed me.”
“You were being a bloody arse!”
“Do you talk to your mum with that mouth?”
“Ugh!” Rose stomped. “How does Albus stand you?!”
“I’m just downright charming, Weasley. You’ll come to see it one day.”
“In your dreams, Malfoy. Never would I stoop as low to be charmed by a foul snake as yourself.”
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