Disclaimer: Only Lierin, Ophi, the
various Weasley grandchildren, and the infamous Misty Clearwater belong to us.
All other people, places, and names are property of J.K. Rowling.
Arya’s Note: This chapter had
absolutely no purpose until Bea added on the ending. So I guess I'll thank
her. And continued thanks to Whimsy for being an awesome beta, as well
as to Lierin for letting us steal her soul and put it in character form.
Bea’s Note: Someday, I may get tired
of constantly thanking Whimsy, but today's not that day. In addition, I
thank Arya for catching some errors in the meter of the Sorting Hat song, and
whoever it was who came up with the brilliant function that turns the word
"love" into a heart on Microsoft Word. Actually, there’s quite a bit
of love in this chapter… Maybe it has something to do with the day we
submitted it on.
A Different Kind of
that's what it was. Absolutely brilliant. Wasn't it, George?"
You should have seen the size of their...what's that place called again,
Fred? They had some weird name for it, not a Ministry but a..."
"Hell if I
know. Anyway, Margot. This place was huge. Twice the
size of ours. Of course, America's a bit bigger than Britain. Wizards and witches running everywhere, popping up right in front of
you. They were rude, too. One witch Apparated right on top of me
and didn't even apologize! I still have a bruise from that, too.
Look, it's huge."
Margot made a protesting
noise as Fred lifted up the left leg of his trousers, showing his hairy
shin. She could see the remnants of a fairly large bruise.
remarked. "So was it anything other than huge and rude?"
She leaned back in the living room chair and regarded the twins. Both
were covered in freckles and their ears were bright red from the sun.
Fred wore an obnoxious t-shirt that proclaimed, in bright red letters, "I
♥ NY," while George had found a new set of robes that changed colors
every five to ten minutes. She couldn't help but feel a bit left
out. It sounded as though they'd had a wonderful time.
Fred frowned and glanced
over at George. "Well," he began with a sly smirk, "there
was that woman in New Orleans...she was interesting, wasn't she, George?"
George turned bright
red, while Fred fell into a fit of laughter. Margot shook her head and
waited for them to continue. She wondered if they would ask about her
summer. Even if they did, she wasn't sure how much she would tell.
It wasn't as if much had happened. Leona had returned from France a week ago, and her cousins had come back from camp two days ago. Her visit to
the Auror office was fresh in her mind, the most exciting - if that was the
proper word for it - day of the entire holiday, but she wasn't sure if she
wanted to share it with her fathers. How would they react if she were to tell
them Bellatrix's words? What would they say? She didn't want to see
the looks on their faces and imagine the thoughts running through their
minds. Those looks had been in her dreams since that day. She'd
briefly considered talking to Aunt Ginny, but decided she didn't want to
trouble anyone with her problems.
"So, you get your
letter yet?" George asked as Fred's laughter died down.
"I bought my books with Leona and Nahid yesterday," she said.
"I'm all ready to go back to school." She couldn't wait to see
her friends, wondering what Lex and Pepita had been up to all summer.
Ophi had sent her a few letters, but they'd been short and mostly about his
family's trip to Italy. Emerson had only managed to send one letter, by
Muggle post; his father hated owls. Pepita and Lex, generally decent at
sending letters, had been oddly quiet this year.
Fred remarked, standing. "We need you in the shop for the rest of
the week, before you leave for school. Verity is ill and Fred and I have
a few business matters to deal with at the Ministry, so we can't be at the shop
"We'll pay you, of
course," George said with a smile. "Same amount as
Verity. You'll be able to use it in Hogsmeade...you get to go this year,
Margot stood up quickly,
remembering the other thing that had been in her letter. "Oh!
You have to sign my form for me!" She hurried to her bedroom, where
her trunk lay mostly packed. She hadn't bothered unpacking much besides
her clothes and books, deciding it'd be easier to live out of her trunk for a
few days than unpacking and repacking within a week.
Her form was on her
bedside table, next to her stack of brand new Hogwarts books. She paused
for a moment to look at her Arithmancy book. It looked the most
interesting of all her books. She'd already read a third of it and was
terribly excited about the subject. She was a bit sorry she hadn't signed
up for Ancient Runes, especially after seeing Lierin's teacup, but Care of
Magical Creatures and Muggle Studies looked interesting enough.
said when she returned to the living room. She handed the form to Fred,
who conjured a bright orange quill and signed it with a flourish.
Fred stood and
stretched. "Bit of a long day," he said, yawning. "I
think I may go sleep."
George stuck his head
out from in the kitchen. "Have fun dreaming of Misty Clearwater,"
"She's not related
to Aunt Penelope, is she?" Margot asked, recognizing the name.
George burst into
laughter as Fred's eyebrows shot up. "Merlin's beard, I hope
not. Goodnight." He left the room, shaking his head.
Margot laughed quietly and folded her form back up. She'd nearly
forgotten that third years were allowed to go to the village. The thought
made her grin; she'd visited Hogsmeade a few times with Fred and George, who'd
spent most of the time debating whether or not they had enough gold to purchase
the old Zonko's building. The trips had been fun, but not nearly as fun
as they would be with Lex and Pepita.
"We did miss you,
you know," George called from the kitchen. He stepped into the
living room, sandwich in hands. "Fred couldn't get the ironing spell
right and we had to buy three new pairs of dress robes."
"I don't know how you two survive when I'm at Hogwarts," she
George put a finger to
his lips. "Don't tell a soul, but Mum still likes to do our
laundry." He winked and disappeared back into the kitchen to finish
his sandwich. Margot closed her eyes and tried to clear the images that
Fred had conjured in her mind.
Though it wasn't very
late, Margot found herself yawning. She'd wanted to look through her
Muggle Studies textbook before going to bed, but as she sat on her bed flipping
through the pages, her mind began drifting, imagining going to Hogwarts with
Pepita, Lex, and Ophi. She smiled as she thought of Ophi, wondering how
his summer had been. She'd have to ask him on the train...
A Look into the Other World fell from Margot's
hands, startling her. She'd nearly fallen asleep just sitting
there. With a sigh and a slight smile, Margot set the book on her
nightstand and began getting ready for bed, her thoughts still on Ophiucus
"WAKE UP WAKE UP
HOGWARTS TIME HOGWARTS TIME!"
Margot's hand shot out
from the warm cocoon of blankets and hit the top of her alarm clock. She
moaned and curled back up, wanting more sleep. She would kill George for
setting her alarm for this early. It did not take six hours to get to
"WAKE UP NOW OR
YOU'LL BE LATE! MARGOT PERSEPHONE WEASLEY WAKE UP NOW!"
Startled to hear her
grandmother's voice, Margot sat up in bed and looked around, her eyes still
bleary from sleep. A burst of laughter exploded in the hallway, and her
door opened. Fred and George, fully dressed in purple robes, were doubled
over in laughter. Margot growled and threw a stuffed Crup at them.
funny," she muttered, falling back down on her bed and pulling the covers
over her head. It was five in the morning, and earlier than she had woken
up all summer. If Fred and George thought she was going to get out of her
warm bed and go help them at the shop, they were insane.
Something tugged at the
blanket around her, but Margot held tight. They wouldn't dare.
"Come on, Margot,
or we'll be late to open the shop!"
Margot growled from
under the covers and held fast to the blanket. She wasn't going to go
without a fight.
Ten minutes, four
bruises, and a large bump later Margot sat on the floor surrounded by her
stuffed animals, blankets, and pillows. Fred was sprawled across her bed,
while George sat cross-legged on the floor across from Margot. Glaring at
both of them, Margot stood and jabbed Fred's shoe with her foot.
"If you want me to
go, you'll have to leave," she informed them. "I have to put my
Fred groaned and sat up,
rubbing his side. "That didn't hurt when we did it to
Ronnikins," he moaned, standing. He held his hand out to pull George
up. "Darling brother, we aren't...old are we?"
George shook his head
feverishly. "Never, Fred, never. We are and always will be
deadly handsome sixteen-year-old boys."
"Tell that to
Angelina," Fred muttered. He turned to Margot, who was trying not to
giggle. "If you aren't dressed and in the kitchen in five minutes, we'll
be back in here and repeat the whole process. You wouldn't want to cause
your dads pain, would you?" He put on his best pitiful face, and
Margot almost felt like kicking him again.
"I'll be there in
ten," she retorted, turning to her trunk as the two departed, moaning
over-dramatically about their aching backs. Shaking her head, she began
the search for her black robes. She had five sets of them, but it seemed
that they had all gone missing since last term. She vaguely remembered
putting them in her trunk at the beginning of the summer. Frowning, she
began unpacking her trunk.
"You do know you're
supposed to be packing, not unpacking," a voice remarked from the
Margot looked up and saw
George leaning against the doorframe, a chocolate muffin in hand. She
sighed as she rummaged through the bottom of the trunk.
"I can't find my
robes," she admitted. "I swear I put them in here,
George was grinning far
too broadly. Margot stopped searching and frowned at him. Putting
her hands on her hips, she stood and looked him in the eye. He was over a
foot taller than her, but she'd gotten quite good at staring people down.
It came with being friends with Lex. Smiling sheepishly, George reached
behind him and handed her a bag.
"Ginny thought your
robes needed mending," he explained. "She forgot to tell you,
and Andrea hid them in her room. She found them last night and brought
Relieved, Margot took
the bag from him and closed the door so she could change. She would have
to repack her trunk again, but she needed to fit in at least ten more books
anyway. She'd made the mistake of going to Flourish and Blotts with Leona
the other day, and had come back with more books than she would be able to read
in a term. But they'd been on sale, and she got a discount for working at
Fred and George's shop...it wasn't something she could easily resist.
Trunk fully repacked,
Margot pocketed her wand and took one last look around her room. Her bed
was made, her bookshelf was empty, and her floor was clean. It looked
just the same as it had at the beginning of the summer. Satisfied that
she hadn't forgotten anything, Margot grabbed the handle of her trunk and
pulled it out of her room.
"So why are we up
so early?" she asked Fred, who was in the kitchen flipping blackened
pancakes with his wand while reading Witch Weekly. "I think
those are done, by the way."
Fred looked at the
pancakes, startled, and hurriedly pulled plates out of the pantry. Margot
frowned at him and walked over to examine the magazine.
"Since when do you
read Witch Weekly?" she asked, turning it over and looking at the
Johnson was featured in an article," George remarked with a smirk.
He grabbed a plate and picked through the pile of pancakes to find the least
burnt one. "He reckons if he reads it enough times, he'll figure out
why she keeps saying no to his marriage proposals. How many times have
you asked her now, Fred? Eight? Nine?"
Margot sniggered as
Fred's face turned bright red. He stuffed the magazine under the sugar
jar and busied himself with buttering his pancake. Amused, Margot took
her own plate to the kitchen table and sat down to eat.
"So you never
answered," Margot said as she covered the black pancake with butter and syrup.
"Why are we awake at five in the morning?"
when your alarm went off," George told her with a smirk.
Margot made a face at
him. "Very funny. I'll have you know that waking a girl up
three hours early does not generally produce good results."
"Mum wants us all
at the Burrow by nine," Fred explained, sitting down next to Margot.
"Ariel, Portia, Molly, and Lily are all first years this year, and she
wants us to all go to King's Cross together."
"If she wants us
there by nine-" Margot began.
Fred swallowed his
pancake and made a face. "Shop opens at six this morning."
Margot exclaimed. "No one's going to be awake then!"
George put his fork and
knife down, apparently too disgusted by the burnt pancakes to continue
eating. "Sure they will," he replied. "Don't you
read the newspapers? Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes is having a sale...all
Hogwarts students get 50% off their purchase of 5 or more galleons."
Fred looked at his
watch. "We should probably get going unless we want to deal with
angry twelve-year-olds," he said, standing.
Margot looked at the two
of them. "Aren't you taking me to King's Cross?" she
asked. "How are you going to get me there if you have a sale going
on at the shop?"
Fred rolled his
eyes. "Silly, the sale's only for Hogwarts students. It'll be
over by ten, because everyone will be going to King's Cross. We'll meet
you at the Burrow at ten. Delia is coming in at nine thirty to take
over for us. We're not going to miss taking you to the station. Now
hurry up, it's nearly five thirty."
George gathered the
dishes, while Margot scavenged the house for her shoes. Within five
minutes, the dishes had been cleaned to Margot's satisfaction, and her shoes
were safe on her feet. Standing in front of the fireplace, Margot took a
pinch of the Floo Powder and disappeared into the flames, coming out a moment
later in a brightly lit, familiar room.
It had been three years
since they'd moved from the flat, but to Margot it still felt a bit like
home. Boxes and crates were piled all around the kitchen and down the
hallway. The flat now served as a storeroom for the shop, though Margot
knew the twins occasionally spent the night in the back bedroom with their
Two pops indicated Fred
and George's arrival, and before Margot could become immersed in memories she
found herself being carried downstairs to the shop. She twisted to see
who her captor was, and giggled. Fred had never been good at keeping a
perfectly straight face.
Fred! Merlin's beard, I thought you'd never get here!"
Fred put Margot down on
top of the counter as Verity rushed up to them. She looked as though
she'd been awake for hours, though Margot suspected she'd been to the new
coffee shop down the road. Run by a family of Muggle-borns, they claimed
to use absolutely no magic in their coffee. Margot doubted it was true;
what else could wake someone up so quickly?
"They've been at
the door for nearly twenty minutes," Verity said. She put down the
crate she'd been carrying and pointed out the window. Margot twisted to
see what she was talking about, and nearly fell off the counter. Close to
three dozen people were standing outside of the shop, waving their arms and
looking quite eager. Most of the shoppers were students, though many of
them were accompanied by parents who looked just as excited as their children.
Verity knelt on the
floor and began unpacking the crate, as Fred went over to the shelves and began
straightening. Every few minutes, he turned and smiled to the people
outside, who then waved back. Margot shook her head.
here?" Verity asked, her eyes on the love potions she was carefully
unpacking. Margot noticed a slight pink tinge on her neck, and
"I think he's
upstairs bringing more things down," she said. "Do you want me
to go see?"
Verity shook her head
and stood suddenly. "No, I can do it," she said a bit too
quickly. Margot slipped off of the counter and watched as Verity hurried
up the stairs, looking quite eager to see George.
Fred returned to the
counter and picked up a few of the love potions. "We're nearly out
of edible Dark Marks," he remarked, "and we're completely out of
Smart-Answer Quills. I didn't check, but I imagine we're low on the
Daydream Charms...when I was here last night, we sold nearly half our
stock. Could you go make sure George gets all of those down here?"
"Verity just went
up," Margot informed him.
said, a smile tugging at the sides of his mouth. "Well. They'd
better be quick about it. Shop opens in ten minutes. Hurry and get
these love potions out there. I'll go up and grab a few boxes of the
gathered the bottles and carried them over to the love section. As she
put them onto the shelves, she snuck a glance out the windows. Instantly
her cheeks turned bright red. In the midst of the crowd of shoppers,
wearing his Hogwarts robes, was Ophi. She looked away, unsure why her
heart was pounding so hard. Why was it that whenever she thought about
him, her heart started beating like this? It was absolutely
ridiculous. She'd never be able to get anything done at school if she
kept this up. Determined not to look out the window again, Margot ignored
Ophi's waving and quickly filled the shelves with the bottles of love
potion. When she'd finished, she joined Fred at the counter. He was
watching the clock carefully, counting down the minutes.
"Did you get the
stuff from upstairs?" Margot asked.
Fred shook his
head. "I...er...they were talking in the kitchen," he said in a
feeble attempt to explain. Margot snorted, knowing perfectly well what
Verity and George were doing. She'd walked in on Fred with Angelina
plenty of times. She wasn't an innocent first year anymore.
Fred said. "They'd better get down here..."
"I can handle the
till," Margot reassured him. "I've done it plenty of
times. Remember last Christmas? Everyone was in here exchanging
things. It'll be fine, Fred. Stop worrying."
Fred looked down at her,
an amused look on his face. "I can't decide if you sound more like
your aunt Hermione or your grandmum," he remarked. "The
resemblance to both is uncanny."
"What can I say? I'm a Weasley woman. One minute."
Her heart thumped rapidly. If she was at the till, she would have no
choice but to talk to Ophi if he bought something. And knowing him, he
would buy enough jokes to last the entire year. She took a deep breath to
calm herself, and smiled at Fred.
"I'll go unlock the
door," he said, grinning. Margot braced herself as he walked quickly
toward the door and opened it up. A blast of cool morning air filled the
room, followed by a stampede of students dressed in a mixture of Muggle
clothes, home robes, and Hogwarts uniforms.
"I want that one,
Mum. That pink one, the cute one that keeps falling over!" a girl
who looked to be a first year exclaimed, pointing. Her mum reached into
the basket of Pygmy Puffs and pulled out the desired pet. The girl grabbed
it from her mum's hands and hugged it tight. "Her name is Penelope
Anne," she said decidely.
The girl's mum smiled
and led her daughter to the till.
"Just the Pygmy
Puff?" Margot asked, pulling a cardboard box from under the counter.
The woman nodded,
looking tired. "She saw the ad in the paper and just had to come
down here to get her Pygmy Puff before she went off to school."
Margot smiled politely
as she punched in the code. "That'll be one gallon, one sickle, and
eighteen knuts. If you spend four more gallons, you'll get your entire
purchase fifty percent off."
The girl bounced up and
down, the pink Pygmy Puff clutched between her hands. "Oh, please
Mum, please? Let me get a few jokes, all the other kids will have
them!" She put on a truly incredible pout, and Margot had to smile
as the woman gave a sigh and nodded.
"But you're only
spending four more gallons, Beth!" she called out as her daughter scurried
back into the hoard of customers. She turned back to Margot, who had set
the box aside. "I'm sorry, we'll be back in a few minutes..."
Margot nodded and turned
to the next customer. It would be a long morning, but at least she'd be
able to nap on the Hogwarts Express. That is, unless Lex's summer had
been exciting as the previous year. Margot yawned, remembering the long
train ride to Hogawarts. Lex had talked the entire time about her trip to
Spain, and how exciting it had been to meet real bullfighters. Pepita
had fallen asleep within an hour, and Ophi...
A blush rose to her
cheeks as she looked across the shop. Ophi and his parents were standing
in front of the sweets display, looking at one of the new products. He'd
grown over the summer, she saw, and was nearly taller than his mother.
She wondered how tall he would be. As he was an orphan like her, it was
hard to know.
George appeared at Margot's side, looking a bit out of it. His hair was
rumpled, and there was a smudge of pink lipstick on his chin. Margot
raised her eyebrows and pointed.
"Did you get the
boxes?" she asked. "Fred said we're out of several things, you
might want to go and check with him. I think he's in the
Wiping his chin, George
nodded. "I'll go see," he said. He glanced back at the
stairs and ran his hand through his hair, then hurried off. Margot shook
her head, wondering if he'd mentioned Misty Clearwater to Verity.
Margot." A familiar voice returned Margot to the till that she was
supposed to be using. Lierin stood at the front of the line, several
products in her arms. Margot smiled at her and began to ring everything
"How was the rest
of your summer?" Lierin asked. "Your uncle said you spent most
of it reading."
"Aunt Ginny had some books I hadn't read before," she
explained. "What happened with Bellatrix? Uncle Harry never
told me, and it wasn't in the paper."
Lierin glanced around,
before leaning in, the sleeves of her dark blue robes brushing up against the
counter. "We interrogated her for nearly three hours," she said
in a low voice. "Didn't admit to anything except killing a few
Muggle-borns during the war, and we already knew about that. We even
tried Veritaserum, but she must have used some sort of counter against
"So is she in
Azkaban?" Margot asked as she stuffed Lierin's items in a bag.
Lierin bit her lip and
shook her head. "No. Escaped an hour later. No clues as
to how. That room was locked with every locking charm we know, and it's
got Anti-Disapparation wards. But I didn't tell you, okay? We had
to practically bribe the damn Prophet not to put it in. She's a real danger to
the community, and if it gets out..."
Margot nodded and handed
her the bag. "Of course," she said. "Have a good
"Have a good
term!" Lierin said, taking the bag and leaving, her robes swishing on the
floor behind her. Margot shuddered as she began to ring up the next
person. Bellatrix escaped...the thought frightened her.
"They make you work
over the summer?"
Margot's face flushed as
she turned to her next customer. Ophi leaned his elbows against the
counter, looking at her curiously. Her stomach did a half-turn, and she
managed a nervous smile.
week," she told him as her heart thumped pathetically under her
robes. "I-I was at my aunt and uncle's house m-most of the
Ophi nodded, and put his
selections on the counter. Her face turned a deeper shade of red as she
saw the bottle of love potion lying next to a pot of pimple vanisher, a pack of
Muggle playing cards, and an edible Dark Mark. Ophi noticed her stare and
turned an equally deep shade of red.
"It's for my
mum," he explained, jerking his head back to where she stood gossiping
with another witch. "She's too embarrassed to buy them herself...I
don't know why she likes them so much. Dad's already in love with her..."
Margot hurriedly rang up
his purchases, trying not to look at him. She pursed her lips together,
trying to get her heart to slow down. It was ridiculous that she could
hardly speak to him without stuttering like a fool. He probably
thought she was stupid or something.
"I suppose I'll see
you on the train, then?" Ophi asked as she handed him the bag. She
nodded curtly, attempted a smile, and turned to her next customer, feeling like
an utter fool.
The morning passed
rather quickly, which was surprising. After the first hour or two, the
rush of frantic students died down quite a bit. Outside, the sun had come
out, and Margot could see that the students were now hurrying from shop to
shop, picking up last minute items before the train left for Hogwarts.
She checked her watch every now and then, not wanting to miss the train.
She didn't know how she'd get to Hogwarts if she missed the train. She
had, of course, heard Uncle Harry and Uncle Ron's tale of flying to Hogwarts in
Grandpa's Ford Anglia, but her aunts and grandmum had made it quite clear that
she was not to follow suit. The Anglia, which had been rescued from the Forbidden Forest some years ago, now rested in the garage at the Burrow. Grandpa was
forbidden from doing anything more than playing with it and starting the engine
every other week.
Verity announced as Margot said goodbye to a woman who had just bought the rest
of their Daydream Charm stock. "George just Apparated back to the
house to see if there were any more crates of the Daydream, and Fred is
explaining how Muggle cards work. I can take over the till, if you
Margot nodded and took a
seat on the ground. She was exhausted, and ready to sit down on the seats
in the train and listen to Lex drone on about her summer vacation. The
train wouldn't leave for two hours, but knowing the Weasley family, it was a
good thing to leave early.
George appeared with a
pop, causing Verity to knock over the edible Dark Mark display. Muttering
an apology, she hurried to pick them up. George's cheeks turned bright
red as he coughed and attempted to compose himself. Margot rolled her
Margot?" George asked. Margot nodded and grinned.
"Delia should be
here soon," Verity remarked. She moved over to stand next to George,
whose eyes seemed to be wandering. "She popped in earlier and said
she'd be a bit late." Margot watched curiously as Verity's hand
drifted toward George. "If you want to leave now..." She
looked up at George, who bit his lip, torn.
"It's five to
nine!" Fred yelled, breaking the moment as he ran toward the group.
Margot shook her head at him as he grinned like a four-year-old child.
Fred simply grinned back gleefully as Verity and George jumped apart, their faces
"You're so mean
sometimes," Margot remarked. She glanced around the shop. It
seemed that most of the students had gone elsewhere, or were preparing to leave
for King's Cross. Most of those left in the shop were the usual morning
customers - the young woman who worked at Madam Malkin’s and spent her spare
change on love products; the elderly man who frequented the Leaky Cauldron; a
strange and silent woman who had only ever purchased Muggle playing
cards. Strange as it was, these people were as much of a family as Fred
and George, though she had hardly spoken more than a hundred words to each of
"Shall we go,
then?" Fred asked. "Mum'll want us there for the madness."
George asked as they began up the steps to the flat. "All she does
is give them all a Hogwarts scarf and tell them she'll love them no matter what
house they're in. She did just the same thing with us..."
"Yes, but I doubt they'll tell her what we did..." George joined him
in laughing as they came to the top of the steps. Margot instinctively
went to the fireplace and grabbed the pot of Floo Powder.
"What did you tell
her?" she asked as she reached in for a pinch.
The two laughed
terrible," George began with a grin.
"We told her we'd
try our hardest to get put in Slytherin-"
"-and that if we
were put in Hufflepuff, we'd still keep in touch."
"Send a toilet seat
or two, for old time's sake."
"What'd she say?"
"The usual. Swatted us over the head and told us she loved us no
matter what House we were in. And Dad gave us a lecture about family
members who'd been in Hufflepuff and Slytherin all the way to the
"But we did send
her a toilet seat," Fred remarked, tilting his head as he remembered.
A smile crossed his face. "Ah, good times. How many Howlers
was it that year, George?"
George frowned and
counted on his fingers. "At least four...maybe five? It's been
Margot shook her head,
amazed at her fathers. She imagined she should be used to it by now, but
every now and then they managed to surprise her with tales of their adventures
at Hogwarts. She glanced at her watch and gave a start - it was ten past
nine. She threw the Floo Powder into the flames and disappeared.
As predicted, the hour
leading up to their departure for King's Cross was spent listening to Grandmum
tell Ariel, Portia, Molly, and Lily how much she loved them and how wonderful
Hogwarts would be no matter what house they were sorted into. Margot, Leona,
and Gene sat on the couch in the living room trying not to fall asleep.
They had heard the lecture before, and didn't understand why they needed to
hear it yet again. Fortunately, the clock seemed to feel pity for the
cousins, and the time passed rather quickly. Soon, they were all
gathering their trunks and following Grandpa out to the Ford Anglia, where he
proudly drove it out of the garage. It was the only time he was allowed
to drive it, and Margot knew how much he enjoyed the drive.
When they arrived at
King's Cross, it was, quite predictably, ten minutes to eleven.
Grabbing trollies for everyone, Fred and George helped load all the luggage on
and they rolled themselves down to Platform Nine, where several families were
lined up to go through the barrier.
"Are we going to
make it?" Lily asked her mum, who'd joined them at the station.
Aunt Ginny smiled at her
daughter. "Of course. They won't leave without us, I
Margot pursed her lips
and watched as the line thinned. People were being particularly slow
today, it seemed. She wanted to get on the train and find Lex and
Pepita. If they didn't hurry, all the compartments would be full, and
she'd be stuck sitting with her little cousins. As much as she loved
them, she didn't fancy the idea of spending the entire ride with four little
girls who would pester her with questions about the Sorting and Hogwarts life
Five minutes later, they
rushed through the barrier, entering a world of chaos. Leona and Gene
hugged their parents goodbye, while Margot waved to Fred and George, who were
discussing business plans with the man who had been in line in front of
them. She sighed, then turned to find her friends.
could I have a word?”
Uncle Harry hurried over to Margot.
Behind him, Lily and Molly were hugging their mother goodbye. It seemed he had
managed to get time from work to say goodbye to his children.
“I didn’t tell Fred and George about
Bellatrix,” Uncle Harry said, his voice low. His eyes darted around, watching
everyone who passed by. “It won’t be in the paper that we captured her only to
have her escape…bit of an embarrassment, honestly. But I know you’re an
intelligent girl, and you’ll tell Fred and George on your own.”
Margot jiggled her leg, wanting to
get on the train. “I guess,” she said, not really thinking about it. She
didn’t understand the need to tell Fred and George about her experience. It
wasn’t the first time she’d met Bellatrix Lestrange, and this meeting was far
less frightening than the last.
Uncle Harry nodded. “Well have a
good term, then. I’ll see you at Christmas.” With a smile, he turned back to
his family, and Margot hurried off to find her friends.
here! Come on, we saved you a seat!"
Margot pushed past a first
year carrying a rather angry cat, and saw Lex's head sticking out of one of the
windows. Grinning, Margot waved at her and dragged her trunk onto the
train. Depositing it with the others, she hurried past several
compartments that were full of first years to where Lex's head had been.
announced as Margot collapsed onto the seat. "We were worried you
weren't going to make it! Ophi went off for a minute to talk to a
friend, and Emerson isn't here yet. I think I saw him, but he was with
his parents and they didn't look very happy, so I didn't yell."
Margot nodded, too tired
to say anything. Now that she was finally on the train, she wanted
nothing more than to eat far too much sugar and listen to her friends talk
about their summers. She smiled and leaned back. Finally, she was
Margot drummed her fingers along the table. She
was hungry, she was tired, and the first years still hadn’t been brought
into the Great Hall to be sorted. On her right, Lex kept nodding off and then
jumping awake, and on her left, Pepita was staring wistfully at the empty
taking so long?” Emerson asked, from his seat directly across from her.
don’t know,” said Margot. “Maybe someone…”
never finished her thought, however, because just then, the doors to the Great
Hall opened, and a straggling line of first years entered, led by Professor
whispered Lex, who’d just woken up again.
searched for her cousins. There they were, a little cluster of Weasleys (and,
okay, Potters) in the middle of the line. She tried to pick out which House
each of them would go into, but she couldn’t. Probably there’d be at least one
thoughts were diverted as Slughorn set the Sorting Hat on its stool, and the
hat began to sing.
Where lakeshore ends and
and magic fills each
four sorcerers of mighty
set down and found their
They built a school, and
took the youth,
who long had gone
but each had certain
which in the kids they
Gryffindor loved those
whose souls were
For Ravenclaw, just
those of wit
and knowledge fit the
To Slytherin, the
ambitious were the best.
For Hufflepuff, the love
and justice were the
So each devised a House
to teach their favored
and long they taught and
spring rain and summer
But sure enough, their
time did come;
no longer could they
And so to me the old
to sort out whom is
So step up as your name
and never be afraid;
no matter where your
fate is cast,
today’s your Sorting
The Hall burst into applause, and the
first years, looking rather nervous, began whispering among themselves. Margot
smiled, remembering her own Sorting. In retrospect, she was happy she’d been
Sorted into Ravenclaw; not only was it by far the best House, but it kind of
gave all of her younger cousins a little leeway – now, if they weren’t Gryffindors,
at least they weren’t the first not to be a Gryffindor.
Apollo,” called Slughorn.
short, pudgy boy with rumpled robes scurried up to the stool and put on the
Sorting Hat. It entirely covered his face. After thirty seconds, the Hat opened
the rip at its brim and called—
clapped politely as Apollo made his way to the Gryffindor table. After the
first few sortings, she tuned out what was going on, only coming back to
reality when she heard the name “Ravenclaw,” so that she could clap loudly.
Finally, Slughorn got to the P’s, and Margot started paying attention again.
spotted Lily’s vibrantly red hair as she pulled herself out of line. Margot
liked Lily a lot; she was quiet, more like her dad than Aunt Ginny, and always
an ally when Margot was trying to get the rest of the cousins to calm down.
was actually pretty tall for her age, and the Hat didn’t entirely cover her
face; it only made it down to her nose. Margot could see her smile when the
Hat called out its decision.
clapped as Lily stood up and went to her table, waving as she passed the
Ravenclaws. Hufflepuff was probably the perfect fit for Lily.
twin bounded up to the stool. Margot guessed that she probably wouldn’t end
up with her sister, but then, it was hard to tell.
Hat was only on Molly’s head for all of two seconds before it Sorted her into
Gryffindor. Molly hopped off the stool and found a seat at the Gryffindor table
next to Leona, who patted her on the back. Margot shook her head and smiled.
were two cousins left to go: Portia and Ariel. Ariel was Gene’s little sister,
and Margot knew that he was rooting for her to be in Ravenclaw with them. As
for Portia, she was the oldest of Uncle Percy’s children, so she’d probably be
the one to set the precedent.
ended up in Hufflepuff, to Gene’s obvious displeasure, and then it was Portia’s
turn. She was the last first year to be Sorted. Sometimes it was hard to
believe that Portia was Percy’s daughter; she’d taken much more after Aunt
Penny, although she did look a little bit like Aunt Ginny. Of all the first
years that Margot had actually paid attention to, she was probably the calmest
as she walked up to the stool and put the hat on her head.
seemed to Margot that the Hat took an unusually long time with her. It was
obviously impossible to know exactly what was going on in any individual
Sorting, but there must have been some sort of argument or difficulty.
Finally, after almost a minute and a half, the Hat called out its decision.
the Great Hall, all the Weasley grandchildren caught each other’s eyes. Leona
was doing something frantic with her eyebrows that Margot supposed meant she
was as surprised as Margot herself was.
In fact, the only Weasley who didn’t
seem surprised was Portia herself. She merely replaced the hat, smiled
slightly, and took her place at the Slytherin table.
the food appeared, Lex turned to Margot. “What was up with you and your
cousins? You were giving each other looks.”
asked Margot distractedly. “Oh. We’re just…surprised, I think. With Portia
being a Slytherin.”
shrugged. “There are worse things you can be.”
Margot nodded; it was true. Still,
she couldn’t help but wonder, as she began to pile potatoes onto her plate, how
much of her family would see it that way.