Don't you hate it when your stories start to wrap up? I do. I almost hate to go finish them. Before that happens I always try to get another one up and running. This one is for Duke157's Jealousy Challenge and for dingledong who asked that I write something that included Professor Snape as less of a bad guy.
Part I The Hogwarts Years Peace Time:
Year One (Two)
In a houseful of magic I learned very early that if I practiced magic the Ministry couldn't tell if I was doing it or if it were another member of my household. So I took every opportunity to study my older sibling's school books and by doing so I memorized all of the basic spells I would need to start school with. I also taught myself to transfigure small items like quills and cauldrons from ordinary rocks and twigs.
Not that anyone was impressed. My parents took it as a personal insult on their financial stability and Percy told me that my cauldron was likely too dangerous to use so they had all been whisked away from me. I had also been scolded for using magic illegally and endangering my father's position with the Ministry.
But wait, let me back up a moment and introduce myself. I am no one important really and most people over look me. My name is Alya Weasley. I am the fraternal twin of Ginny Weasley. Meaning not identical like Fred and George. Ginny and I aren't much alike. She like brooms and sports, I like books and studying. She is outgoing and funny. I am quiet and serious. And unlike every other Weasley in the history of Weasley's I alone inherited my grandmother Cedrella's dark brown hair and almost black eyes.
I look nothing like a Weasley.
Sometimes I wonder if I got left on their doorstep. I don't always feel like a Weasley either.
In a loud raucous family I had learned silence was my best weapon so I had said nothing when they scolded me for my transfiguring. I put my head down and feigned a remorse I did not feel, and then went to my only private space, a small tree house I had fashioned from the branches of an old willow. If my family ever found out I would be in trouble for that too. But it was comfortable. I had made pillows from the old jumpers my mother had knitted for me and brought up old school books deemed too tattered to pass down and repaired them for my studies. A simple engorgio spell had turned one of my pillows in to a very serviceable couch. I flopped on this now and studied potions. Without the ingredients I could not actually make any but I could certainly learn the theory.
It was not until later that I leaned spells like engorgio and the ones I had performed to fix up the tree house and most especially my transfiguration spells were not normally possible for someone my age. But at the time it seemed normal enough.
It was not that my family did not love me or I them. It was just that we do not particularly understand each other. I cannot understand how my father does not want to leverage his position in to something more. He could have. I have read about other heads of his department who had used it as a springboard in to lucrative political careers, but he was just so… so… likeable! Everyone liked him. Not that there was anything wrong with being liked. I certainly like me father as well as loving him, but being liked on the job did not always translate in to more money.
Like the Malfoy's. Almost no one liked them, but they had more money than Merlin. Not that I want to be like the Malfoy's, Circe no, but there has to be a happy medium between being universally hated and being dead broke.
Not that I can do anything about it at eleven years old Ginny and I would just be starting school this year. At least Ginny would then have the object of her crush in front of her and maybe then I would not have to hear quite so much about him.
Oh who was I kidding? Ginny had it bad. I would have sworn that we had made an unbreakable vow not to like any boys. That boys were gross. Maybe we had performed the spell wrong.
Well, enough studying, I absolutely was NOT hiding or sulking in my tree house. Time to go back and face the family.
When I returned I was surprised to find none other than Harry Potter sitting in my chair at the dining room table. We both stared at each other for a time and I said the only thing that came to mind "You are in my chair." Grace thy name is Alya.
"Sorry" he said and started to move.
Now I just felt bad. He looked tired and half starved.
It made me want to feed him a sandwich.
Maybe I am a Weasley after all.
"No, it is fine, please stay, you just… surprise me." I tried to smile in a welcoming way. "Pumpkin juice?" I did not wait for an answer and poured both of us a glass.
Then I made him a sandwich. Darned it, not only am I a Weasley, apparently I am my mother. When did this start happening?
"Thanks." He looked uncomfortable. I understood this, not being particularly the comfortable sort of person to be around.
"Sorry" I said "I am not really good at this whole hostess thing."
"No, it's not you…I" just then Fred and George came in.
Ah yes, the "real" twins.
Maybe it is just me who thinks of them that way.
Or maybe it is just me who is willing to say it aloud.
As alike as if they were looking in a mirror. They finish each other's sentences. Ginny and I couldn't even finish each other's sandwiches. Literally, we hate the same kinds of foods. Sometimes I wish we were closer. But it isn't like she is making a huge effort either. She doesn't understand why I can't be happy with the way things are and I can't understand why she doesn't want more. But she is my twin. I can say that if push came to shove no one would ever come between those bonds. At least that was what I believed at the time. It was such a naively innocent belief.
It isn't like I am jealous of the things other people have. I don't want THEIR stuff. I want us to have our own stuff. I can't see what is so wrong with that. And I don't know why my family feels like my desires are so wrong.
"And how is our favorite Snake today?" asked George ruffling my hair in a way that he knows annoys me
At Harry's questioning look I said "My name is Alya, it is the Theta Serpent star. We would have met last year when Mum and dad dropped off the other's but I was sick and stayed home under threat of being on punishment until I was 35 if I stepped one toe out of line." We both laughed at that breaking the ice somewhat.
"Bloody brilliant, her name isn't it Harry?" asked Fred.
"And fitting" continued George "Especially since I swear she has fangs just like one and she is as quiet."
I said nothing. Neither did Harry. Mum came in just then "Fred, George stop teasing your sister."
"Aww Mum, she knows we are just kidding, right little Snake?"
"I need to get ready to go. Are we leaving soon Mum?"
"Yes, make sure Ron and Ginny are ready to go."
That was going to go over really well.
Ginny hated to be told what to do by her twin and Ron hated to be told what to do by his little sister.
I swear sometimes she does this just to make my life miserable.
I feel bad thinking that though. Mum works really hard and she just looks so tired all the time.
Once when I was seven I tried to train the garden gnomes to help with house work. I thought it was going really well too. Until they broke all the dishes and stole Mum's yarn.
That was when I started working on the tree house.
"Pleased to meet you Harry Potter." His eyes grew wide and he just nodded as I shook his hand.
Nice boy, a little too quiet for my tastes. I hope he finds his voice soon. The world is a cruel place for those who can't talk. Less so for those who just refuse to do so.
I don't really know how I knew the difference at eleven.
Ginny had been red as a beet when I went to check on her. I was confused until I remembered who was downstairs. I rolled my eyes at her. "Ginny, he is just a boy. And he looks like he could use a friend. You should talk to him. I tried but I am no good at that sort of thing."
She laughed and hugged me "You mean the talking to other human beings thing? You should try practicing with your family."
I rolled my eyes again and left to get ready pounding on Ron's door on my way past getting an angry shout from him.
I checked my robes to make certain they were in good repair. I positively refused to go out looking like I was poverty stricken.
When I was satisfied I joined my family downstairs.
That was another big difference between me and my family. I took care with my appearance. I wanted to make a good impression on others.
Not that my family didn't make an impression.
I know it sounds like I don't like them. It is easy to get that. But what you need to understand is that at eleven I found them embarrassing. I loved them, but I wanted them to be different. I wanted them to be like the families I saw in Witch Weekly. I didn't know any better. It didn't mean I didn't love them. It wasn't until I was older that I learned better. I think that can be pretty much said to be true of most things kids do. But at the time all I knew was my family was embarrassing.
And I loved them. I just sometimes wish I could be more like them so I would fit in. Or actually what I wanted was for them to be more like me. I hadn't learned yet how to accept people as they were, including myself.
"Well, don't you look posh" teased Fred.
As usual I remained silent.
Silence is a great weapon. No one expects it. They want a reaction. They want you to get angry to fight back to give them something to work with. If you just stare at them they have to meet you on your terms.
"Alright, we will be traveling by floo…" I rather tuned the rest out Harry had never travelled this way and mother fussed and when she starts doing that I have a hard time focusing. At least it was Harry this time and not me.
My mother probably got an "O" in her fussing NEWT. I laughed at this causing Fred to raise an eyebrow at me. I shrugged.
When Harry stepped in it was to be my turn next, but I could tell he had said it wrong. Doing a quick calculation in my head I knew he had gone one grate over at most. Floo travel just isn't that complicated. Knowing exactly how much trouble I would be in I stepped forward and before anyone could stop me I said "I will get him" threw my floo powder down and whispered "Knockturn Alley" so no one would know where I went. You have to say it clearly not loudly.