The prologue is written by witowsmp and edited by me. All other chapters are written by me. As always, the only the unique story elements belong to me. Harry Potter and all associated trademarks are the property of J. K. Rowling, et al.
"The light is red, Vernon!" shouted Petunia Dursley. Her husband had just run a red light on the way to King's Cross Station in London, and had just barely avoided a collision with another vehicle. "I just want the freak gone! I don't want to be dead!"
Dudley squealed as Vernon missed another car, causing vehicles around them to blow their horns.
"I'm sorry, Petunia," said Vernon. "It's just I want to get rid of the freak, and I want to be rid of that freaky tail that Giant Freak gave our poor Dudley."
A couple of minutes later, they were at the Station. Vernon parked the car and put Harry's things onto a trolley and wheeled it into the station. Harry wondered what had Vernon in such a good mood until they got to Platforms 9 and 10. Vernon then got a nasty grin on his face.
"There you go, boy. Platform 9 and platform 10. Your platform should be in the middle, but they don't seem to have built it yet!" said Vernon. Vernon was right. There was a plastic 9 over one platform and a 10 over the one next to it. "Have a good term!" Vernon said very nastily.
Just then, Harry noticed a boy with a toad. This would normally seem unusual to Harry, but he then remembered the list of acceptable pets at Hogwarts. The boy was with an older woman, perhaps his grandmother, who looked very stern.
"H-h-how do you know I won't just run into the wall, Gran?" asked the boy, appearing terrified.
"Shhh," his grandmother replied, "We don't want to be overheard." She then pulled the boy to an empty corner and Harry sneaked closer to hear the explanation, doing his best not to be noticed. He was successful, because the woman told her grandson, "Neville, it's simple. You just run toward the wall between Platforms nine and ten and you'll find yourself right in front of the train. Now, go on."
The boy obeyed, looking extremely frightened as he ran toward the wall, and disappeared. The older woman than walked through and Harry followed. As he went through the barrier, he noticed the clock said that it was 10:33. The missed traffic light must have saved us a couple minutes, thought Harry. He didn't see the group of redheads that were just arriving.
A rather large group of Gingers were approaching the platform. There were a large female, a boy wearing a badge on his outfit, a set of twins, another boy (obviously the youngest male), and a girl.
"Packed with Muggles, of course," said the woman, whose name was Molly Weasley. She had a slightly glazed look as she was announcing this as loud as she could, as Dumbledore had told her that Harry Potter would need help getting onto the Platform. He described the lad as having raven-coloured hair, wearing oversize clothes and taped glasses. Why the boy didn't simply use a Reparo charm on the things was beyond Molly's comprehension. Then again, Muggles apparently had to make due with other means.
"What's the platform number?" asked Molly.
"Nine and three-quarters, mum" said the girl, Ginny. "Can't I go?"
"You're not old enough to go, dear," said her mum. Molly looked around hoping to catch a glimpse of the Potter Boy. "Platform 9 ¾!" she said, hoping that she hadn't said that last part too loudly.
Unfortunately for her, she had, as a person wearing the strangest assortment of clothes (pink swimming trunks, a black jumper with a bow-tie tied sideways over the collar, and a mink coat) came over to her. It was obvious that this was a wizard trying to look like a Muggle, failing spectacularly.
"Ma'am, I'm going to have to give you a ticket for a Breach of the International Statute of Secrecy." said the oddly dressed man. "My name is Auror Dawlish."
At this, Molly told her children, except for Ginny, to go to the platform. This displeased the Auror, who threatened her with a month in Azkaban. Now that Molly was giving her full attention to the Auror, she didn't notice what her youngest daughter was doing.
Ginevra Molly Weasley was the youngest Weasley at ten years old. She was very much looking forward to going to Hogwarts, and now was her chance. Her mum wasn't looking in her direction, so Ginny slipped through the barrier and onto the platform, just like she'd always done when they'd come on 1 September to drop of the school-aged children and in June to pick them up.
She glanced around for her brothers, but couldn't see any except for the twins, Fred and George, who were busy with their friend Lee Jordan, who appeared to be showing them a large spider. "I'll bet that would make Ron wet his pants," she whispered to herself as she quickly made her way to the train and boarded it for the first time.
Her first instinct was to sit in one of the compartments and try to blend in, but then she remembered how her brother Percy had bragged that as a prefect, he'd be one of the people patrolling the train. He may be a pompous fool, but he would recognize his own sister and get her in trouble. Therefore, she went about finding a place to hide.
With that in mind, she quickly made her way toward the back of the train. She speedily ducked down when she spotted her brother Ron talking animatedly to a boy with black hair and glasses, sneaking past that compartment and, thankfully, not being spotted. Just a few compartments down, she spotted one that appeared empty except for a few trunks on the racks above with an old black blanket beside them. She figured that someone had already claimed the compartment and would be returning any second. With some difficulty, she climbed up on top of the luggage rack as the train whistle blew, grabbed the blanket, wrapped it around herself, and did her best to make it look like she wasn't hiding there.
The door to her compartment opened at virtually the same moment the train started moving. She gripped the rack from under the blanket to avoid rolling down as she listened to the boys who were sitting down. She was sweating by the second under the thick covering.
"We're serious, Lee," laughed a voice that was very familiar to Ginny.
"Our mum's probably been arrested by now," said the same voice from a different location. Ginny silently groaned as she realized that, of all the compartments she could've picked, she ended up choosing the one where Fred and George were sitting.
"And she calls us troublemakers!" both twins declared before they, along with Lee, burst out laughing. Suddenly, Ginny heard a small metallic clang.
"Crap!" shouted Lee Jordan. "I was laughing so hard I dropped my tarantula's cage. It's getting out! Catch it!"
Ginny held the blanket tight around her and closed her eyes, hoping the loose spider wouldn't find her. She listened to various expressions of frustration over failing to catch the loose pet.
"It's on the luggage rack," exclaimed Lee. "On top of the blanket!"
Oh, no! Ginny thought. I think I do feel something crawling on me! It's a lot bigger than a normal spider!
While she did not have a specific phobia regarding arachnids, like her brother, given the circumstances, nobody could criticize her for letting out a large scream while rolling around in an effort to knock the spider off her blanket.
This caused the Twins to look up at her. "Ginny?" they exclaimed in their creepy twin stereo voice. "What are you doing here?"
"What in Merlin's name do you think I'm doing here?" she asked as her brothers started to laugh uncontrollably. "It isn't all that funny!" she exclaimed angrily.
"Oh, yes it is," said a twin.
"It's wonderful!" said the other.
"We are so proud of our little Sis!" they said together. "All we have to do is make sure you're able to stay." The twins stared at each other, as if they were thinking about something. Their friend, Lee Jordan, interrupted them.
"Won't they just be sent home?" he asked.
"Not unless they want Ginny to never go to Hogwarts!" the twins shouted triumphantly.
"Rule 56-A states that 'Once a child is sorted, they are officially a student'" chorused the Twins. "And rule 63-C says, 'Once a student has been removed from Hogwarts, they cannot return'."
"How do you know that?" asked Ginny. She knew that her brothers weren't exactly the most studious.
"We memorised all the Rules first year," said a twin. "We hope to break them all" said the other. The twins then started brainstorming ways to smuggle Ginny past Percy, their brother. Ginny wouldn't put it past Percy to turn their mum in if he thought she had done something wrong. The only reason he hadn't with his father was that the majority of his father's junk was at least technically legal.
The twins got their friend Angelina to lend them a robe, and told her the story.
"You'd better be doing exactly as you say," said the girl. "I'd better not find that you're using it for some perverted purpose. And I want them back clean!"
By the time they got to Hogsmeade, Ginny was wearing Angelina's robe and a subtle Notice-Me-Not charm, so that nobody would recognise her at the Sorting until after she'd already been sorted. The twins also had a wonderful idea for a distraction during the Sorting.
Once she got off the train, Ginny saw one of the largest men she'd ever seen. She knew, of course, that the man was called 'Hagrid' and that he was the Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts.
"First years!" called Hagrid. He lead the first-years to the dock. Ginny stayed quite as far away from Ron as she could. "No more than four to a boat," said the giant.
Fortunately, the boat Ginny got on didn't have anyone on that she immediately recognised. At one of the names; however, she did.
"Hi," said one of the other girls in the boat. The girl was also a ginger. "I'm Susan Bones."
"I'm Ginny" she replied. "Does your Aunt work in Law Enforcement?"
"Yep," replied Susan. "You know, I've been looking forward to this my entire life."
The other girls and Ginny agreed with that statement. One of the girls was named Lavender Brown and the other was Hermione Granger.
At that moment, the boat turned and they were all treated to an incredible sight. Hogwarts castle looked absolutely glorious from this vantage point.
"Wow," said Ginny, not having to fake her awe. The other girls stayed silent as well, absorbing the view in front of them.
When they arrived at the shore, Hagrid knocked on the door and introduced them to Professor McGonagall, who gave them a speech about the four houses that they would be sorted into, before leaving them alone outside the Great Hall.
"So," Ginny asked her companions, while keeping her voice down so Ron, who was still with the black-haired boy he'd sat with on the train, wouldn't recognize it, "which house do you want to be in?"
"My family's all been Hufflepuffs," declared Susan, "so that's the house I want to go in. I know what most people say about that house, but I for one think loyalty and hard work are quite important."
"I'm hoping for Ravenclaw," said Lisa, before shyly adding, "I've always been a bit of a bookworm."
"I don't care which house I get in," announced Lavender with a grin, "as long as there are cute boys in it." This comment earned her some giggles from the other girls.
At about that moment, they were interrupted by a few ghosts, who, after realizing that the gathered children were new students, welcomed them to Hogwarts just before Professor McGonagall returned to escort them inside.
"This will be the year that we finally break the Marauder's Record!" said the twins at the Gryffindor table. "We will get detentions before the feast even starts! I've heard that the Marauder's recorded a detention at 1 minute 43 into the Opening Feast."
They watched the first-years enter the Great Hall and drew their wands, pointing at the Slytherin table from under the Gryffindor table.
The first person to be Sorted that year was a girl named "ABBOT, HANNAH" who went to Hufflepuff, followed by Susan Bones. The Sorting went without interruption until the Sorting of the new celebrity: Harry Potter. Although the Hat took a little longer with Harry, it eventually declared him to be a "GRYFFINDOR!"
This was Fred and George's cue. While everyone was watching the Golden Boy make his way to the Gryffindor table, the Twins cast their spells. The first turned the Slytherin table's colour to hot pink, and then a second caused it to start dancing. The professors looked to see who the culprit was, and then all went to the Gryffindor table to yell at the Twins. In the confusion, nobody noticed what Ginny Weasley was doing.
The moment the Professors left the table, Ginny ran for the stool with the hat and put it on her head.
Well, what do we have here? asked the Hat. You seem to be a bit young to start at Hogwarts, my dear.
Don't tell, please, Ginny pleaded with the Hat in her mind.
So you sneaked onto the train, remarked the Hat with a chuckle in his voice. A very Slytherin thing to do.
I'd like to think of it as Gryffindor courage, thought Ginny urgently. What was the point of ending up at Hogwarts if she was in Slytherin. And even better, Harry Potter was a Gryffindor.
Or it could be that you were so excited about learning like a Ravenclaw that you decided to come early, mused the Hat to Ginny's displeasure. I should really tell the Headmaster that you're here, but it's not my concern if they don't count the students they have me Sort. I've made up my decision. Based on what I've looked at in your mind, it better be
The hat paused for a moment here as Ginny started to sweat. "GRYFFINDOR!" shouted the hat. Everyone looked around to see Ginny Weasley sitting down at the Gryffindor table right next to a black-haired boy she saw on the train. She looked at the boy and saw that he was Harry Potter.
"I'm Ginny," she said to the boy, extending her hand. Ron had a look of disgust on his face as he waited in the line of unsorted students.
"I'm Harry," said Harry Potter. "It's nice to meet you."
With a couple of final words as the twins received detentions for their charms, all of the spells on the Slytherin table ceased, right before two ginger-haired adults came through the doors of the Great Hall. One was Molly Weasley, and the other was Arthur Weasley.
After Ginny had slipped onto the Platform, the Auror had decided that Molly needed to be arrested, and had taken her to a holding cell, where she spent most of the day. He had ignored all her pleas to check on her daughter, as she wasn't showing the proper respect.
When they finally released her hours later, she went to Arthur's office at the Ministry, and they started to look for their daughter. They went to King's Cross and then to the Burrow (in case she used the Public Floo to get home). On a whim, they decided to come to Hogwarts, just in case she actually managed to get on the train.
What Molly Weasley saw was her daughter sitting at the Gryffindor table with a very smug look on her face.
"GINEVRA MOLLY WEASLEY!" shouted Molly. "You are in so much trouble!" She shouted this in the same voice that she used for her Howlers.