This was it. This year, it was finally her turn to go to Hogwarts.
Rose Weasley was standing at King's Cross Station, Platform 9 3/4, looking at the Hogwarts Express. This year, she would finally be able to board the train, together with most of her cousins.
"Rose!" The excited scream woke Rose from her thoughts. She looked up and saw a smiling Albus walking towards her, looking just as excited as she was feeling. A few meters in front of him was James, his hair looking messy like always, just like she was always told Uncle Harry's was when he was his age. Behind them were Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny, with Lily clinging to her hand.
"Hey Rosie," James said when reaching her, ruffling her hair. "Ready for your first year?"
Rose smiled. "Yeah, I'm ready. It's finally our turn," she said. Albus, who had just caught up with his brother, gave her a quick hug. "About time as well," he said.
"Just make sure you don't end up in Slytherin together with my little brother, Rose," James said, laughing at his own joke.
"Oh, just shut up already," said Albus, who had just caught up with his older brother. "It's not even funny anymore."
"Anyway, I'm going to look for Dominique, I'll see you guys at Hogwarts," James said, before boarding the train.
"This is it," Albus said, a broad smile on his face. They both stood there, smiling, imagining how their first year at Hogwarts would be.
"So, that's little Scorpius," they heard Ron say and they both turned around to look who he was talking about. "Make sure you beat him in every test, Rosie. Thank God you inherited your mother's brains.
"Ron, for heaven's sake," said Hermione, half stern, half amused. "Don't try to turn them against each other before they've even started school!"
"You're right, sorry... Don't get too friendly with him, though, Rosie. Granddad Weasley would never forgive you if you married a pureblood."
At that last comment, Rose rolled her eyes, while Albus just grinned at her.
"It's nearly eleven o'clock," Harry said. "Time to board the train."
Rose and Albus both hugged their families, and with a last wave of goodbye, boarded the train.
"I'm going to go look for a toilet first," Albus said to Rose. "Maybe you could go look for a place for us to sit?"
"Sure," she answered, and went looking for an empty compartment.
After what felt like an endless stream of occupied compartments, she finally believed to have found an empty one. However, when she opened the door, she saw someone sitting in the corner. His face was almost entirely hidden behind an old book, his messy platinum blonde hair the only part visible. Judging from his brand new robes, he was probably a first year as well. She smiled when she recognised the book, 'Hogwarts: A History', remembring all the times she had sat on the couch at home, her copy of the book propped up on her knees in the exact same way.
The boy then slowly lowered the book, putting a quill between the pages.
"Wait a minute," Rose said, her eyes widening when she recognised the boy. "You're Scorpius Malfoy!"
"And you're Rose Weasley. I have to say, after that article last month, I've been quite curious about that so-called relationship Markus Krumm."
"Oh, I hate that woman," Rose said, her face now a bright red. "After starting those rumors about mum and Viktor years ago, she now seems to give it another try with me and Markus."
"Good," Scorpius said, smirking. "Then I hope you're smart enough not to trust anything she writes about my family as well. It's unbelievable, the things that woman can come up with."
"Anyone with half a brain should be able to see her articles are only made up out of lies and ridiculour rumors."
"Too bad most people don't seem to have one then, they have their opinion ready the moment they hear my name."
"I know what you mean. Whenever people find out who I am, they have all these expectations. Since my mother was the brightest witch of her time, and a member of the 'Golden Trio' on top of that, they expect me to be some kind of genious as well. They seem to think they're praising me or something, but it pretty much just irritates me when a complete stranger walks up to me to tell me they think I will be a great witch. I mean, they don't even know me..." She then noticed she was still standing in the doorway, and decided she might as well sit down.
"So what were you and your family talking about then, back at the station, if you weren't gossiping about me and my family? I saw you looking at us."
Rose started blushing and looked down at her knees. "It's uhm, kind of silly actually," she said. She looked up again and finally said: "My dad told me I should beat you at every test."
"Funny," Scorpius said. "That's the exact same thing my dad told me."
They looked at each other for a moment, before they both started smiling.
"So ehm, what were you reading about?" Rose asked after a while, guesturing towards the copy of 'Hogwarts: A History' that lay forgotten next to Scorpius.
"I was reading about the Founders, actually," he replied, picking up the book again, apparently searching for something. "I've always been surprised by how the Houses have changed over the years. I mean, in their time the four Founders were very good friends," he continued. He had found the part he was looking for and handed the book over to Rose "And now... Well, I guess most Houses are sort of united, but Slytherin is still keeping it's distance. It's sad to see it doesn't seem to have learned much, if anything, from the war."
"I, I guess," Rose mumbled, giving the book back to him. There was no need for her to read it, she knew which part he was talking about. After all, she had read the book more times than she could count already. She had never really thought about the seperation of the Houses, however. It was just the way it was, no need to ponder it.
"So ehm, what House do you think you'll be sorted in? Slytherin, I guess, looking at your family? You going to try and change things from within then?"
"Actually, I don't care much for tradition. I'm hoping to get into Ravenclaw actually. After all, why should we just repeat the paths our parents chose, when we can open up our own paths. And I don't think Slytherin House wants to be changed. Otherwise, it would have by now."
Rose didn't know what to say to that. She wondered how he was able to keep surprising her like that. There wasn't any need for her to say anything, though, because Scorpius already continued: "At least, I'm hoping for Ravenclaw. No way to tell for sure, of course, since in the end it is the Hat that decides."
"I'm sure it will all turn out fine. I mean, if you believe you should be in Ravenclaw, then I'm sure you will be put there." Rose said.
"So, what house are you hoping for? Gryffindor, like your family? Or will you choose your own path?" he asked her. Before she could answer that, however, Albus walked into the compartment.
"There you are! I've been looking for you for ages!" He then saw Scorpius sitting across from Rose. "Malfoy. What an unpleasant surprise."
"And you must be the second Potter boy."
"Anyway, I found Fred and Roxanne, and they asked if we would join them," Albus said. He then grabbed Rose's hand and without so much as a second glance towards Scorpius, all but pulled her with him. Rose, surprised by Albus behaviour, had just enough time to give Scorpius a quick wave.
When Albus and Rose had disappeared, Scorpius picked up the copy of 'Hogwarts: A History' again. "A pity not everyone is so open-minded as you, Rose," he mumbled, before continueing to read his book.
As soon as his name was called out, whispers arose from all four tables, some of the most frequently mumbled words being 'Lucius', 'Draco' and 'Death Eater'.
Scorpius walked towards the Sorting Hat, his head held high. Rose didn't understand how he could look so confident. After all, he was trying to undo the image people already had of him by going agains family tradition. How could someone not nervous at that? Then again, she thought, it was probably an act. She wondered how much of his life had been an act.
He had reached the Sorting Hat, and just before he sat down, he saw Rose's thoughtful look. He smirked at her and put the Hat onto his head.
After what seemed like ages, it finally made it's decision: "RAVENCLAW!" For a second, there was a look of relief on his face, but by the time he put off the Hat, it was already replaced by a smug smile.
Instead of the applause that had followed the sorting of the other first years, however, there was now only silence. Silence and expressions of disbelief. Only when Scorpius was already halfway towards the Ravenclaw Table, they seemed to remember they were supposed to welcome him and gave him a timid applause.
Professor Longbottom seemed to have remembered his task as well, since he now called out the next name: 'Potter, Albus." Again, whispers arose from the students at all four tables. Albus turned towards Rose, now looking very pale.
"Come on, Al, hurry up! We're all hungry!" James shouted from the Gryffindor table. Albus now walked over towards the Sorting Hat, his face no longer pale, but more of a bright red. He quickly put on the Sorting Hat, his fingers crossed.
After a few seconds, the Hat exclaimed: "GRYFFINDOR!". The Gryffindor table erupted into cheers and applause. Albus almost ran towards the table and seated himself between James and Fred, before looking back at Rose, a big smile on his face.
Professor Longbottom then called out the next name: "Weasley, Rose."
And again, whispers arose. So predictable, Rose thought. Sometimes she hated it that everyone knew her parents, knew her. Sometimes she didn't want to be famous Rose Weasley, she just wanted to be Rose.
So lost in her thoughts, she didn't even notice the Hat being put on top of her head until it spoke to her. "So, Just Rose, huh?"
"I..." Rose began, a bit startled, "it's just, sometimes I wish nobody knew who I was. I mean, I'm proud of what my parents did, of course, and the rest of the family as well, it's just.. I don't like having all those expectations," she finished.
"Well, let's pretend I don't know who your parents are then, Just Rose," the Hat said - or thought, Rose wasn't quite sure which words to use with the Sorting Hat.
"Sounds good," Rose replied, unable to surpress a giggle.
"Let's see," the Hat said (or thought). "A thirst for knowledge definitely worthy of a Ravenclaw and a bigger sense of righteousness than most Gryffindors. Difficult to sort, you are. So, where should I put you?"
"I guess it will be Gryffindor then, like the rest of the family," Rose replied.
"And here I thought you wanted to be seen as your own individual, instead of as the daughter of your parents?"
Rose then hesitated. His words reminded her of what Scorpius had said. This was her chance to break free of the image people had attached to her name. Why should she just repeat history by following in the footsteps of her parents, if she could choose her own path, write her own history? Would she dare follow the advice of the son of her father's sworn enemy? But then again, the was was long over and grudges supposedly something of the past. And she wasn't following Scorpius' advice, just listening to the Hat. After all, concerning the sorting, he was suppossed to know best.
"I see you've made up your mind," the Hat said gently. "Good luck, Just Rose."
"Thank you," whispered Rose, just before the Hat shouted: 'RAVENCLAW!"
Rose's sorting was followed by the same stunned silence and disbelieving expressions that had followed Scorpius' sorting, but Rose didn't care. Today, she would begin writing her own history. She walked towards the Ravenclaw table, her head held high. When they saw her aproaching, the Ravenclaws quickly recovered of their seconds shock of the evening and broke out into an enormous applaus.
Just as she sat down, Roxanne's name was called out. Rose had just enough time to look around to see Roxanne sit down, before the Sorting Hat was put onto her head. It barely touched her head before it shouted: "GRYFFINDOR!". While Roxanne walked over to the rest of their cousins, still somewhat shocked, Scorpius leaned over to Rose, a smirk on his face.
"So, you also decided to break tradition?" he asked.
"Yeah," she replied, "I guess I did."