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“Are you ready?”

 

I looked in the mirror one last time, pulling my hair up into a high ponytail.

 

“Yes,” I said, walking out to the kitchen, where Mr. Weasley was waiting at the door with the house keys in his hand.

 

“Let’s get going then,” he said.

 

I slid into the car and sat between Ron and Ginny while Fred and George took up the back of the vehicle. 

 

When my parents died in a car crash, Dumbledore thought the best decision for me would be to stay with the Weasleys who agreed as well. A couple years after I had been living with them, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley decided that I was ready to learn what happened the night my parents died. The earliest memory I have of them is the night of the accident, but even that has little bits and pieces. All I remember

is hearing a loud honk, confusion, and fear. 

 

After that I was living with them and they turned into family. Ginny, who is a year younger than me, is like the little sister I never had. She’s a lot like me, really rebellious and smart, but when it comes to saying her opinion on things she can be shy around people she isn’t comfortable with. I, on the other hand, am pretty straightforward with people (which means I can be rude without truly meaning to be) and can be pretty outgoing. Personally, I think she’ll grow out of it as she gets older but it’ll take some time. We always stay up late talking about each other's thoughts whenever there is something on our minds and have yet to get caught by Mrs. Weasley.

 

Ron is the same age as me. Growing up with him, I was able to call him not only my brother but one of my best friends. Whenever I feel down, he always knows what to say that’ll cheer me up whether it’s a joke or he embarrases himself on accident. He’s not very expressive about his emotion however. When something bothers him, he puts on a simple don’t care attitude which can be very

annoying. 

 

Fred and George are the main people that I can be myself around. They love pulling pranks on our family members or random people we meet out in public. They’re two years older than me and Ron so they will be going into their third year at Hogwarts while me and Ron start our first. They’re the liveliest and funniest guys you’ll ever meet. One time though they tried to pull a prank on Ron when he was younger by turning his teddy bear into a spider which backfired. Mrs. Weasley grounded them for a long time and I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so angry. The incident gave Ron a fear of spiders that to this day still has a big impact on him.

 

Percy is two years older than Fred and George and is starting his fifth year at Hogwarts this year. When his Hogwarts letter came in the mail about him being a Prefect this year Mrs. Weasley was ecstatic. This gave Fred and George on the other hand even more motivation to pull pranks on him. I feel bad for the guy most of the time. He’s really intelligent and one of the few people I’ve met that doesn’t waste it. Whenever the twins say something, I try to encourage him to not take what they say to heart and follow his dreams.

 

Charlie and Bill are the oldest of the Weasley children. Charlie graduated from Hogwarts last year and is in Romania studying dragons while Bill works in Egypt as a curse breaker for Gringotts. Bill is two years older than Charlie making him nine years older than me and Ron. We don’t see them a lot since they are across the country working but every once in a while they come visit at the Burrow.

 

I haven’t gotten to the point where I feel comfortable calling Mr. and Mrs. Weasley mum and dad yet. I’m sure I will eventually, I just haven’t been ready to take that next step yet. They always tell me stories of my parents from when they knew them when they were younger. After my parents passed, they said that it impacted a lot of people. My mom was a famous healer at St. Mungos who had helped a lot of people while my dad was a well-known journalist who wrote for the Daily Prophet. For my tenth birthday Mr. and Mrs. Weasley gave me a box with all of the past articles my Dad had written throughout his experience as a writer.

 

“We’re almost there,” Mr. Weasley said as we pulled into a parking spot at King’s Cross.

 

After parking the car, the eight of us made our way to the platform.

 

“Now, what’s the platform number?” Mrs. Weasley said.

 

“Nine and three-quarters!” piped Ginny, who was holding her hand. “Mom, can’t I go…”

 

“You’re not old enough, Ginny, now be quiet. Alright, Percy, go first,” Mrs. Weasley said.

 

Just as Percy reached the dividing barrier between the two platforms, a large crowd of tourists came swarming in front of him and by the time the last backpack had cleared away, Percy had vanished.

 

“Fred, you next,” Mrs. Weasley said.

 

“I’m not Fred, I’m George,” said Fred, trying to mess with her. “Honestly, woman, you call yourself our mother? Can’t you tell I’m George?”

 

“Sorry, George, dear,” Mrs. Weasley apologized.

 

“Only joking, I am Fred,” Fred said with a smirk, and off he went. 

 

As George took his turn, a young boy approached us that looked about my age. He had black hair that looked untidy and wore round glasses over his bright green eyes.

 

“Hello, dear,” Mrs. Weasley said. “First time at Hogwarts? Madison and Ron are new, too,” she said pointing at Ron and I making the both of us blush.

 

“Yes,” said the boy. “The thing is-the thing is, I don’t know how to-”

 

“How to get onto the platform?” Mrs. Weasley said, kindly, and the boy nodded.

 

“Not to worry,” Mrs. Weasley said. “All you have to do is walk straight at the barrier between platforms nine and ten. Don’t stop and don’t be scared you’ll crash into it, that’s very important. Best do it at a bit of a run if you will. Go on, you can go now before Madison.”

 

“Er-okay,” said the boy.

 

He pushed his trolly around, staring at the barrier until he ran through it. I went after him repeating the same steps that Mrs. Weasley said and slowed down after crossing the barrier. 

 

As I waited with my other brothers for the rest of the Weasleys I observed everything around me. There was a scarlet steam engine waiting next to a platform packed with people. A sign overhead said Hogwarts Express, eleven o’clock. I looked behind myself and saw a wrought-iron archway where the barrier had been, with the words Platform Nine and Three-Quarters on it.

 

I also noticed, as I looked around, that the boy who had asked Mrs. Weasley for help and had now disappeared somewhere along the platform.

 

Once all of the Weasleys and I were on the platform, we gathered around to say our final goodbyes before the Hogwarts Express left.

 

“Ron, you’ve got something on your nose,” Mrs. Weasley said, taking out her handkerchief. 

 

Ron tried to jerk away, but she grabbed him and began rubbing the end of his nose.

 

“Aah, has ickle Ronnie got something on his nose?” Fred asked.

 

“Shut up,” said Ron.

 

“Where’s Percy?” Mrs. Weasley asked.

 

“He’s coming now,” I said.

 

“Can’t stay long, Mother,” Percy said. “I’m up front, the prefects have got two compartments to themselves-”

 

“Oh, are you a prefect?” George asked, smirking at me. “You should have said something, we had no idea.”

 

“Hang on, I think I remember him saying something about it,” Fred said. “Once-”

 

“Or twice-” George added.

 

“A minute-” I said with a grin.

 

“All summer!” Fred concluded.

 

“Oh, shut up,” Percy said, rolling his eyes.

 

Mrs. Weasley kissed Percy on the cheek and sent him, then turned to the twins.

 

“Now, you two behave yourselves this year,” she said sternly. “I don’t want a letter telling me you’ve blown up a toilet or-”

 

“Blown up a toilet?” George asked. “We’ve never blown up a toilet.”

 

“Great idea though, thanks, Mom,” Fred said.

 

“I’m serious. And look after Ron and Madison,” she said.

 

Don’t worry, ickle Ronniekins and Mads are safe with us,” George said patting my shoulder.

 

“Shut up,” Ron said again.

 

“Hey, mom, guess what? Guess who we just met on the train?” Fred said. “You know that black-haired boy who was near us in the station? Know who he is?”

 

“Who?” I asked.

 

“Harry Potter!” Fred said.

 

“Oh, mom, can I go on the train and see him, mom, oh please…” Ginny begged.

“You’ve already seen him, Ginny, and the poor boy isn’t something you google at in a zoo. Is he really, Fred? How do you know?” Mrs. Weasley asked.

 

“Asked him. Saw his scar. It’s really there-like lightning.” Fred answered.

 

“Poor dear, no wonder he was alone. He was so polite when he asked how to get onto the platform,” Mrs. Weasley said.

 

“Never mind that, do you think he remembers what You-Know-Who looks like?” Fred asked.

 

Mrs. Weasley suddenly became very stern.

 

“I forbid you to ask him, Fred. No, don’t you dare. As though he needs reminding of that on his first day of school,” Mrs. Weasley said.

 

A whistle sounded.

 

“Hurry up!” Mrs. Weasley said, pushing all of us onto the train. We leaned out of the window for her to kiss us goodbye, and Ginny began to cry.

 

“Don’t worry Ginny, we’ll send you loads of owls,” I said.

 

“And a Hogwarts toilet seat,” George added.

 

“George!” Mrs. Weasley said.

 

“Only joking mom,” George said, making me grin.

 

The train started to move so we all waved to Mrs. Weasley and Ginny until we couldn’t see them anymore and then separated. Fred and George left to join their friend Lee while Ron and I struggled to look for an empty compartment.

 

Near the end of the train Ron opened another compartment door and popped his head in.

 

“Anyone sitting here?” Ron asked, pointing at what I assumed to be empty seats. “Everywhere else is full.”

 

Ron turned his head and nodded at me, and I sighed in relief that we had finally found a place to sit. As I walked in, I realized it was the boy who Fred said was Harry Potter. I sat next to Ron across from Harry, who was looking out the window.

 

“Hey Ron. Hey Mads,” George said. The twins had returned. “Listen, we’re going down the middle of the train-Lee Jordan’s got a giant tarantula down there.”

 

“Right,” Ron mumbled.

 

“Harry,” said Fred, “did we introduce ourselves? Fred and George Weasley. And this is Ron, our brother, and Madison but we call her Mads, who’s practically our sister. See you later then.”

 

“Bye,” the three of us said. Fred and George left sliding the compartment door shut behind them.

 

“Are you really Harry Potter?” Ron blurted out.

 

Harry nodded.

 

“Ron!” I said as I elbowed him in the gut. “You can’t just ask someone that, it’s rude.”

 

“Well, I thought it might be one of Fred and George’s jokes,” said Ron defensively. “And have you really got-you know…” 

Ron pointed at Harry’s forehead. Harry pulled back his bangs to show the lightning scar. Ron began to stare. I rolled my eyes.

 

“So that’s where You-Know-Who-?” Ron asked.

 

“Yes,” said Harry, “but I can’t remember it.”

 

“Nothing?” Ron said a little too eagerly in my opinion.

 

“Well-I remember a lot of green light, but nothing else,” Harry answered.

 

“Wow,” Ron said. Ron continued to stare at Harry, then as though he had suddenly realized what he was doing, he quickly looked out the window.

 

“Is all of your family a wizard?” Harry asked Ron and I.

 

“Both of my parents were wizards but they died in a car crash when I was really young. After that I lived with Ron’s family,” I said, patting Ron’s shoulder.

 

“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to-” Harry began to say before I cut him off.

 

“No Harry it’s fine. I’m an open book, don’t feel bad or anything. I like to talk about them,” I said smiling.

 

“Oh okay then. What about you?” Harry asked looking at Ron.

 

“Er-yes, I think so,” said Ron. “I think Mom’s got a second cousin who’s an accountant, but we never talk about him.”

 

“So you must know loads of magic already,” Harry said.

 

“I heard you went to live with Muggles,” said Ron. “What are they like?”

 

“Horrible-well, not all of them. My aunt, uncle, and cousin are though. Wish I’d had three wizard brothers,” Harry said.

 

“Five,” Ron said, looking gloomy for some reason. “I’m the sixth in our family to go to Hogwarts. You could say I’ve got a lot to live up to. Bill and Charlie have already left-Bill was head boy and Charlie was captain of Quidditch. Now Percy’s a prefect. Fred and George mess around a lot, but they still get really good marks and everyone thinks they’re really funny. Everyone expects me to do as well as the others, but if I do, it’s no big deal, because they did it first. I never get anything new, either, with five brothers. I’ve got Bill’s old robes, Charlie’s old wand, and Percy’s old rat.”

 

Ron reached into his jacket and pulled out Scabbers, a fat gray rat that was asleep.

 

“His name is Scabbers and he’s useless, he hardly ever wakes up. Percy got an owl from my dad for being made a prefect, but they couldn’t aff-I mean, I got Scabbers instead,” Ron said, his ears starting to grow pink.

 

Harry began to talk about having to wear his cousin’s old clothes and never getting proper birthday presents. I smiled knowing that he was trying to make Ron feel better and it seemed to cheer him up.

 

“… and until Hagrid told me, I didn’t know anything about being a wizard or about my parents or Voldemort-” Harry said, making Ron gasp.

 

“What?” Harry and I said confused.

 

“You just said You-Know-Who’s name!” Ron said, sounding both shocked and impressed. “I’d have thought you, of all people-”

 

“I’m not trying to be brave or anything, saying the name,” Harry said, “I just never knew you shouldn’t. See what I mean? I’ve got loads to learn….I bet,” he added, “I bet I’ll be the worst in the class.”

 

“You won’t be. There’s loads of people who come from Muggle families and they learn quick enough,” I said.

 

Around half past twelve there was a great clattering outside the corridor, and a smiling, dimpled woman slid back their door and said, “Anything off the cart dears?”

 

Harry leapt to his feet while Ron and I’s ears went pink muttering that we had packed sandwiches.

 

Ron and I stared as Harry brought handfuls of candy back in the compartment and tipped it into the empty seat next to him.

 

“Hungry, are you?” I asked.

 

“Starving,” said Harry, taking a large bite out of a pumpkin pasty.

 

Ron took out his lumpy package and unwrapped it. He pulled one of the four sandwiches apart and said, “Mom always forgets I don’t like corned beef.”

 

“Swap you for one of these,” Harry said, holding up a pasty. “Go on-”

 

“You don’t want this, it’s all dry,” said Ron.

 

“She hasn’t got much time,” I added quickly,” you know, with the six of us.”

 

“Go on, have a pasty,” said Harry, kindly.

 

Ron and I then helped ourselves to eat our way through all Harry’s pasties, cakes, and candies with him. The sandwiches lying forgotten.

 

“What are these?” Harry asked Ron, holding a pack of Chocolate Frogs. “They’re not really frogs, are they?”

 

“No,” said Ron. “But see what the card is. I’m missing Agrippa.”

 

“What?” Harry asked.

 

“Chocolate Frogs have cards inside them, you know, to collect famous witches and wizards. Ron’s got about five hundred,” I said.

 

“Only I haven’t got Agrippa or Ptolemy,” Ron added.

 

Harry unwrapped his Chocolate Frog and picked up the card.

 

“So this is Dumbledore?” said Harry, holding up the card to show Ron and I.

 

“Don’t tell me you’d never heard of Dumbledore!” said Ron. “Can I have a frog? I might get Agrippa-thanks-”

 

“He’s gone!” Harry said, as he turned the card back over from reading it.

 

“Well, you can’t expect him to hang around all day,” said Ron. “He’ll be back. No, I’ve got Morgana again and I’ve got about six of her….do you want it? You can start collecting.”

 

Ron’s eyes strayed at the pile of Chocolate Frogs waiting to be unwrapped.

 

“Help yourself,” said Harry. “But in, you know, the Muggle world, people just stay put in the photos.”

 

“Do they? What, they don’t move at all?” Ron said, sounding amazed. “Weird!”

 

After opening more Chocolate Frogs, Harry began to open a bag of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans.

 

“You want to be careful with those,” I warned Harry. “When they say every flavor, they mean every flavor-you know, you get all the ordinary ones like chocolate and peppermint and marmalade, but then you can get spinach and liver and tripe. George reckons he had a booger-flavored one once.”

 

Ron picked up a green bean, looked at it carefully, and bit into a corner. 

 

“Bleaaarch-see? Sprouts,” said Ron.

 

As they began to go through the woods on the Hogwarts Express, there was a knock on the door of their compartment. A round-faced boy came in looking tearful.

 

“Sorry,” he said, “but have you seen a toad at all?”

 

When the three of us shook our heads, he wailed, “I’ve lost him! He keeps getting away from me!”

 

“He’ll turn up,” I said, trying to sound hopeful.

 

“Yes,” the boy said miserably. “Well, if you see him….” And then he left.

 

“Don’t know why he’s so bothered,” said Ron. “If I’d brought a toad I’d lose it as quickly as I could. Mind you, I brought Scabbers so I can’t talk. I tried to turn him yellow yesterday to make him more interesting, but the spell didn’t work. I’ll show you….”

 

Ron rummaged through his trunk and pulled out his wand. Just as he raised his wand, the compartment door slid open again. The toadless boy was back, but this time he had a girl with him. She was already wearing her new Hogwarts robes.

 

“Has anyone seen a toad? Neville’s lost one,” she said. She had a bossy sort of voice, lots of bushy hair, and rather large front teeth.

 

“We’ve already told him we haven’t seen it,” Harry said, but the girl wasn’t listening, she was looking at the wand in Ron’s hand.

 

“Oh, are you doing magic? Let’s see it, then,” she said, sitting down next to Harry.

 

“Er-alright,” Ron said, looking taken aback.

 

“Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow,

Turn this stupid, fat rat yellow.”

 

He waved his wand but nothing happened. Scabbers stayed gray and fast asleep on Ron’s lap.

 

"Are you sure that’s a real spell?” said the girl, in a tone that you didn’t like. “Well it’s not very good, is it? I’ve tried a few simple spells just for practice and it’s all worked for me. Nobody in my family’s magic at all, it was ever such a surprise when I got my letter, but I was ever so pleased of course, I mean, it’s the very best school of witchcraft there is, I’ve heard-I’ve learned all our course books by heart of course, I just hope it will be enough-I’m Hermione Granger, by the way, who are you?” She said all this really fast.

 

“I’m Ron Weasley,” Ron muttered.

 

“I’m Madison Carter, but most people just call me Mads,” I said.

 

“Harry Potter,” said Harry.

 

“Are you really?” said Hermione, completely forgetting about Ron and I. “I know all about you, of course-I got a few extra books for background reading, and you’re in Modern Magical History and The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts and Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century.”

 

“Am I?” Harry asked.

 

“Goodness, didn’t you know, I’d have found out everything I could if it was me,” said Hermione. “Do any of you know what house you’ll be in? I’ve been asking around, and I hope I’m in Gryffindor, it sounds by far the best; I hear Dumbledore himself was in it, but I suppose Ravenclaw wouldn’t be too bad….Anyway, I’d better go help Neville catch his toad. You three had better change, you know, I expect we’ll be arriving soon.” And with that she let.

 

“Whatever house I’m in, I hope she’s not in it,” said Ron. He threw his wand back into his trunk. “Stupid spell-George gave it to me, bet he knew it was a dud.”

 

“What house are your brothers in?” asked Harry.

 

“Gryffindor,” said Ron, gloom settling on his face again. “Mom and dad were in it too. I don’t know what they’ll say if I’m not in it. I don’t suppose Ravenclaw would be too bad, but imagine if they put me in Slytherin.”

 

“That’s the house Vol-, I mean, You-Know-Who was in?” Harry asked.

 

“Yeah,” I said. 

 

“So what do your oldest brothers do now that they’ve left anyway?” Harry asked.

 

“Charlie’s in Romania studying dragons, and Bill’s in Africa doing something for Gringotts,” I said. “Did you hear about Gringotts? It’s been all over the Daily Prophet, but I don’t suppose you get that with the Muggles-someone tried to rob a high security vault.”

 

Harry stared, “Really? What happened to them?”

 

“Nothing, that’s why it’s such big news. They haven’t been caught. Mr. Weasley says it must’ve been a powerful Dark wizard to get round Gringotts, but they don’t think they took anything, that’s what’s odd. ‘Course, everyone gets scared when something like this happens in case You-Know-Who’s behind it,” I said.

 

“What’s your Quidditch team?” Ron asked, changing the subject.

 

“Er-I don’t know any,” Harry confessed.

 

“What!” Ron looked dumbfounded. “Oh, you wait, it’s the best game in the world!” 

 

Ron and I continued to explain all about Quidditch to Harry until our compartment door was opened again by three boys. 

 

“So it’s true, what they’re saying on the train. Harry Potter has come to Hogwarts,” a blonde haired boy said and I glared at him. 

 

“This is Crabbe and Goyle,” he says pointing at the two bigger-sized boys. “And I’m Malfoy….Draco Malfoy.”

 

Ron laughed and Draco turned to him.

 

“No need to ask what your name is, red hair and a hand-me down robe….you must be a Weasley,” Draco said before turning back to Harry.

 

“You’ll soon find that some wizard families are better than others Potter. You don’t want to get messed with the wrong crowd,” Malfoy said.

 

“I think I’ll take my chances,” Harry said and I smiled.

 

After nearly almost getting into a fight with Ron, the three boys disappeared. Once they were gone, I got up to give Harry a small hug, and he returned the gesture.

 

I went to the bathroom to change into my dress robes while Ron and Harry changed in the compartment.

 

As I made my way back, a voice echoed through the train: “We will be reaching Hogwarts in five minutes time. Please leave your luggage on the train, it will be taken to the school separately.”

 

When I returned to the compartment, Harry and Ron were cramming the rest of the sweets into their pockets. 

 

The train slowed right down and finally stopped. People pushed their way toward the door and out onto a tiny, dark platform. I shivered from the cold air. Then a lamp came bobbing over the heads of the students.

 

“Firs’ years! Firs’ years over here! All right there Harry?” the giant man with a beard asked.

 

“That’s Hagrid,” Harry grinned and grabbed both Ron and I’s hand before walking over to the man. 

 

“C’mon, follow me-any more firs’ years? Mind yer step, now! Firs’ years follow me!” he continued to yell out.

 

Slipping and stumbling, we followed Hagrid down what seemed to be a steep, narrow path. Nobody spoke much. Neville, the boy who kept losing his toad, sniffed once or twice.

 

“Yeh’ll get yer firs’ sight o’ Hogwarts in a sec,” Hagrid called over his shoulder, “jus’ round this bend here.”

 

There was a loud “Oooooh!”

 

The narrow path had opened suddenly onto the edge of a great black lake. Perched atop a high mountain on the other side, its windows sparkling in the starry sky, was a vast castle with many turrets and towers.

 

“No more’n four to a boat!” Hagrid called, pointing to a fleet of little boats sitting in the water by the shore. The three of us got into a boat, quickly followed by Hermione.

 

“Everyone in?” shouted Hagrid, who had a boat to himself. “Right then-FORWARD!”

 

And the fleet of little boats moved off all at once, gliding across the lake, which was as smooth as glass. Everyone was silent, staring up at the great castle overhead. It towered over them as they sailed nearer and nearer to the cliff in which it stood. 

 

“Heads down!” yelled Hagrid as the first boats reached the cliff; we all bent down our heads and the little boats carried us through a curtain of ivy that hid a wide opening in the cliff face. From there we were all carried along a dark tunnel, which seemed to be taking us right underneath the castle, until we reached a kind of underground harbor, where we clambered out onto rocks and pebbles.

 

“Oy, you there! Is this your toad?” said Hagrid, who was checking the boats as everyone got out of them.

 

“Trevor!” Neville cried, holding out his hands. Then we clambered up a passageway in the rock after Hagrid’s lamp, coming out at last onto smooth grass right in the shadow of the castle.

 

We walked up a flight of stone steps and crowded around the huge, oak front door. Hagrid raised a gigantic fist and knocked three times on the castle door.


All credit for original characters and original plot goes to J.K. Rowling. I own only my OCs and select scenes that are not from the original series. Thank you, J.K. Rowling for writing this series and changing so many lives. Thank you all, for reading.

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