The Sugar Quill
Author: shellebelle (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: School Reminiscences  Chapter: Chapter One: Journey to Hogwarts
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“Don’t worry, Arthur,” George Weasley was saying, “We’ll get you to Hogwarts all right, and everything will be fine

 

Disclaimer: I wish I made all this stuff up, but I didn’t.  I’m just grateful someone did, so I could have fun playing in the world made up by J.K. Rowling.  I’m getting no money from this.

 

A/N:  I don’t know if it’s canon, but my Arthur Weasley wears glasses.  I’ve always envisioned him with glasses.  So, in my stories, he does. Hope it doesn’t rub anyone the wrong way. 

 

Many thanks once again go to my wonderful beta-reader, Elanor Gamgee!

 

 

 

 

 

School Reminiscences:

One:  Journey to Hogwarts

 

 

 

 

 

“Don’t worry, Arthur,” George Weasley was saying, “We’ll get you to Hogwarts all right, and everything will be fine.”

 

Arthur nodded at his older brother, his blue eyes wide behind his overlarge glasses.  He wasn’t entirely convinced everything would be fine, and he was so nervous he couldn’t speak. 

 

Never had he been so far away from home before, or had so far yet to go.  This week had been full of strange and unusual things—he had, of course, been to Diagon Alley many times before, but never to buy things for himself, never getting a wand of his own.  There wasn’t too much to buy, for he was handed down many of the things he needed, but all the same, it was for him.  He was grateful that George let him sit in the Prefects’ compartment on the train, though beside his tall, fifth year brother, he felt very small indeed.  He managed to choke down the lunch his mother had made for him, and it sat there in his stomach like a stone.  He sighed quietly.  I’m just another Weasley boy, he thought morosely.  Just the last Weasley boy.

 

His mother had always reassured him that he was special, and his father always let him do things he felt were important for Arthur to try, but it didn’t change the fact that he was the youngest, and that he was tiny.  Even today, his feet barely touched the floor of the compartment as he sat.  It also didn’t help that the old man at the second-hand robe shop had sold his harried mother robes that were too long, saying “Don’t worry, they’ll ride up with wear,” and his mother hadn’t had time to hem them before he’d left for the train.  They reached to the floor, and he was constantly tripping over the hem.  Arthur pulled his feet up on the seat and leaned his head wearily against the window.

 

 

He hadn’t even realized he had fallen asleep until the loud whistle woke him up.  “Wake up, Arthur,” George said, shaking his shoulder gently.  “We’re here.” Arthur tried to get up, but his feet got entangled in his robes and he fell on his face.  George didn’t say anything, but helped him up, brushing his robes off.  “Don’t worry about your things, Arthur--they’ll be in your room when you get there.”

 

Arthur nodded anxiously and followed his brother off the train, careful not to trip on his robes.

 

A huge man with a short, bushy brown beard was calling, “Firs’ years!  Firs’ years over here!”  He was the biggest person Arthur had ever seen.

 

“That’s Hagrid,” George told Arthur.  “He’s Ogg’s apprentice.  He’ll take you across to Hogwarts.  I’ve told him about you.  Go on, Arthur.”

 

He nodded anxiously and fell in step with the other kids in his year, hanging towards the back of the group.  He was glad to see that the others looked almost as nervous as he did.  Still, when he went to step into the last boat, he stepped on the hem of his robes and nearly fell into the lake, but Hagrid grabbed the back of his robes and held him upright.  “All righ’, there, Arthur?”

 

“Y-yes…I’m fine,” Arthur said timidly.  Hagrid lifted him up by his collar and deposited him in the boat, and Arthur could feel his ears turning red with humiliation. 

 

“Hi,” said a small voice beside him, “I’m Molly Dixon.  What’s your name?”

 

Arthur looked in the direction of the voice, which came out of a small girl with hair every bit as red as his own.  “I-I’m Arthur Weasley.”

 

She smiled, and he thought she had a very pretty smile indeed.  “I’m glad to meet you.  I’m dreadfully nervous, aren’t you?”  She was playing with the hem of her robe’s sleeve. 

 

He nodded.

 

“I know I’m talking a lot, but when I’m nervous, I talk a lot.  I’ll try to stop if you like, I know I’ve been driving people mad the whole way here…”

 

“’S’all right if you want to talk.  I don’t mind,” Arthur said bashfully.  He rather liked the sound of her voice, and the way her big brown eyes sparkled when she talked.

 

“Oh…good.”  She grinned at him.  “Where are you from?”

 

“Near London.” 

 

“Oh, then you must have been to Diagon Alley loads of times before, but I just went there for the first time last week.  I’m the first one of us to go to Hogwarts, I’m from near Godric’s Hollow.  It was so wonderful when I got my wand…cedar and unicorn hair, ten inches long.  I’m so glad I got an aromatic wood, it just smells so…homey, don’t you think?  Well, I’d never seen so many witches and wizards in one place in my life…”  She paused and looked at him.  Arthur was sitting there looking at her with his head leaning on his hand.  “Are you sure I’m not boring you?”

 

“No…no, go ahead.  I like to listen to you talk.”

 

Molly blushed.  “Oh…okay.  I live on a farm, and we have twenty sheep, sixteen chickens, five pigs and one cow.  Oh…I also have four sisters.  One set of twins.”

 

Arthur grinned back at her.  “I have five brothers.”

 

“Oh, then you have a big family too!  Are you the oldest?”

 

“No, I’m the youngest.”

 

“There’s five years between me and my younger sister…I had to take care of everybody, ‘cause Mum was sick a lot…I don’t know what I’m going to do without four others to take care of…”

 

“Hey, Dixon, why don’t you shut it?” said a cranky voice from the front of the boat.  A sour-faced girl with pale hair turned around to look at the two students disdainfully.  “You’ve been prattling on since London, and I’m sick of your blather!”

 

Molly bit her lip and was quiet, but Arthur shouted, “You can’t tell us what to do!  If she wants to talk, she can bloody well do it as far as I’m concerned!”  Arthur felt the back of his neck and ears get hot.

 

“Oh, you must be a Weasley…one look at the state of your robes tells me that,” she replied scornfully.  She looked Molly up and down.  “You two look like you’re made for each other.”  She rolled her eyes and faced the front again.

 

Arthur shook his head and looked over at Molly.  She was trying very hard to keep from crying.

 

“Don’t you mind her.  She’s a Malfoy.  One look at her sour expression will tell you that,” he whispered.

 

Molly snorted.  “Thanks for sticking up for me.  I…haven’t had much experience with…true rudeness before.”  She managed to smile, and he smiled back.

 

“I…I hope we’re in the same House,” Arthur whispered, blushing furiously.

 

“I hope so too,” Molly whispered back, then fell silent, evidently too nervous even to continue talking.

 

 

 

Arthur’s brothers had tried very hard to describe the Great Hall to him, but their best words could not do the place justice.  Tripping over his robes, he could hardly keep his eyes from the ceiling.  Looking over, he saw that Molly was likewise struck speechless, and she was looking up with her mouth slightly open.  He was momentarily distracted from the ceiling by the sparkle in her bright brown eyes.   She seemed to sense that he was looking at her and looked over at him and grinned.

 

The Sorting Hat lay on a stool in the front of the Great Hall.  Arthur felt very nervous about trying it on in front of all the other students.  He glanced over at Molly, and her eyes were very wide. 

 

Then the Sorting Hat began to sing, but as Arthur was extremely nervous, he could barely attend to the song.  He only knew the song was over when the applause began.  Everyone in the Hall clapped, and then a tall witch, looking very stern and strict, began to call out names:

 

“Abbott, Melisande.”

 

One by one, the students tried on the Hat, which thought for a while, and announced which House each student would be in. Arthur saw comprehension dawn on Molly’s face, and she visibly relaxed, for she had looked rather terrified.  The sour-faced girl whispered something to her, though, and Molly bit her lip and moved away.

 

“Dixon, Molly.”

 

Arthur saw Molly swallow hard, then she straightened herself and went up to the chair and slid into it shyly.  The Sorting Hat came down over her head, and five seconds later, it shouted, “GRYFFINDOR!”  It was taken off her head and she walked, rather dizzily, to the Gryffindor table, sitting next to his brother George, and across from his brother Fred.

 

It seemed a small eternity before the Deputy Headmistress called, “Weasley, Arthur.”  He went up to the chair, tripping on his robes again, and sat in the seat, his ears and neck a brilliant shade of red. 

 

“Ah,” said the Sorting Hat, “Something simple for a change…another Weasley for…GRYFFINDOR!”

 

Relieved that the ordeal was over, Arthur made his way over to the Gryffindor table, where, he was happy to see, George had saved a place for him, right between him and Molly.  He collapsed into his seat and sighed in relief. 

 

Molly leaned over and said, “Your brother here said you’d probably be coming, and he was right.”

 

“All of the Weasleys end up in Gryffindor…I guess it’s tradition.”

 

She nodded, and then dropped her voice to a whisper:  “If you come to see me tomorrow, I’ll hem those robes for you.  You can’t be tripping over them all year.”

 

“You can do that?”

 

“Of course.  I’ll have them shortened up for you quick as a wink.”

 

“Thank you,” he said gratefully.

 

“What are friends for?” She grinned at him.

 

Now the Headmaster of the school, Albus Dumbledore, had gotten up to give his speech.  He hadn’t been Headmaster long, and his long hair and beard were just beginning to turn white.  “Welcome, my children, to another year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  I know you are all most anxious to begin feasting, but before we do, there are just a few announcements to be made.

 

“As usual, the forest outside the school is strictly forbidden to students, and yes, that means you…”  The Headmaster seemed to look at his older brother Bertram, a seventh year, who was (unsuccessfully) suppressing a smile.  “For anyone who does not feel this pertains to them, Mr. Pringle would like to make mention that the castle always needs extra cleaning for those students anxious to learn…”  It was a great relief to Arthur that Dumbledore had done away with corporal punishment at Hogwarts, though he understood that Mr. Pringle and his young apprentice, Argus Filch, sometimes got a bit…overenthusiastic in their punishment of students.  “And finally, as Professor Leona Lupin has retired, we have a new Deputy Headmistress, as well as a new Head of Gryffindor House, our Transfiguration Professor, Minerva McGonagall.”

 

The tall witch who had called out their names to come to the Sorting Hat stood up, nodding and smiling briefly.  Her dark hair was pulled back severely, and Arthur earnestly hoped that she was a bit more lenient than she looked.

 

“And now,” the Headmaster said, “Let’s eat!”

 

 

All at once, the food appeared on the plates before them, and Molly jumped.  “My goodness! How extraordinary!”  She didn’t move.  Her eyes were wide.

 

Arthur grinned and said, “Aren’t you hungry?”

 

She nodded, and began cautiously to eat.  Arthur thought she seemed a little out of sorts, and wondered if she’d been born to a Muggle family.  That, however, would not be a polite thing to ask.  And she seemed to get a bit more comfortable as other girls in their year began to talk to her, and his brothers joked with her.  The boy across from him, Kevin Moon, admitted openly that he was all-Muggle, and that he just couldn’t quite believe all this had happened to him.  He was a blond, round-faced boy with wide hazel eyes, and he was looking around him like a sleeper in a dream.  Another girl nodded vigorously, saying that it was all like some kind of fairy tale, and Arthur soon found out that her name was Anya Doolittle.  Arthur seemed to talk more than he ever had in his whole life, and for the first time, he realized that he needn’t be in his brothers’ shadows…he could have friends his own age, and be exactly who he was.

 

Later, when they were full of food and sleepy, the Prefects showed the first year students to their dormitories.  Arthur was nearly asleep on his feet by the time he got to the Gryffindor common room.  “What a grand place,” Molly said softly.  Arthur only smiled at her, and then they said good-night as they were led to their respective dormitories.

 

The five new Gryffindor boys mumbled unintelligible greetings to one another, pulled on their pajamas and went to bed.  Arthur gazed up at the ceiling of his four-poster bed, then closed his eyes contentedly and went to sleep. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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