"Make sure you write as soon as you get there so I know you made it ok," huffed Mrs Weasley as she jogged alongside the Hogwarts Express, "if you need anything sent to you just send an owl and I'll make sure you get it," the train had started to gather pace as she broke into a run, "don't forget to wrap up warm when you go outside," she stopped at the end of the platform watching the train pulling away before shouting, "and for God sake, you two, behave yourselves!"
She watched as the Hogwarts Express disappeared around the corner.
"Molly," Mr Weasley said smoothly, putting a reassuring hand on her shoulder and giving it a squeeze, "don't worry about them, I know it's their first year but Fred and George will be fine."
"It's not them I'm really worried about, it's the school" confided Mrs Weasley.
Standing alongside their parents stood two young children, both with flaming red hair, the girl was grinning wildly as she continued waving at the now gone train. The boy however looked in a state of discomfort.
"What's wrong Ron? Missing your brothers already?" asked Mr Weasley kneeling down.
Ron shook his head and stuck out his tongue to show his father; right in the centre ofwhich was a large hole. As a way of explanation to Mr Weasley's confused look, Ron held up his hand, which had a bright red lollipop sticking out of the top.
"RON!" screamed Mrs Weasley as she saw the gapping hole in her son's tongue, "What's happened Arthur?" she asked worryingly.
"It's an acid pop," sighed Mr Weasley, "Fred and George must have given it to him."
"Those little…" Mrs Weasley started angrily as the young redheaded girl broke into laughter while her brother tried sticking his tongue out further trying to see the hole himself.
"You know I think you're right," nodded Mr Weasley, "I'm not sure Hogwarts is ready for Fred and George."
"Brilliant," said Fred as he pulled his head back through the window, attempting to smooth down his wind swept hair, "so what do we do now?"
"Well, you three can do what you like," said the twin's older brother Charlie, before jerking a thumb over his shoulder, "I've got to get down to the prefects carriage, see you later."
"See ya Charlie," called George to the retreating figure, before turning to the other two, "so what about it Percy, you want to go find a carriage with us?"
Before he could answer a pretty, young third year girl passed them in the corridor and said hello to Percy as she went by.
"Oh hello Penelope," replied Percy in a slightly higher voice then normal, causing both Fred and George to break out into huge grins.
"Hi Penelope," cried Fred while George waved ecstatically, she looked back and smiled.
"Why you…" blustered an irritated Percy, whose face had turned red partly from embarrassment and partly through anger, "don't annoy my friends, yes she is just a friend. Honestly it's high time you two grew up, you're Hogwarts Students now, although you'll probably end up in Hufflepuff. Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to meet some people whose company I actually enjoy," he added before storming off down the carriages. His exit would probably have been more impressive if George hadn't had shouted "What? You mean there are gnomes on the train?"
Fred and George trudged along the corridors dragging their cases, glancing into each carriage as they passed. Eventually they found one that wasn't already full of students. They looked in to see a young black boy staring out of the window.
"What do you think?" asked George nudging his twin.
"I think it's rude to stare," said Fred pulling open the door and stepping in, "alright mate, I'm Fred Weasley and this is my less attractive brother George."
"Hiya," George said hefting his bag onto one of the overhead racks before plonking himself down onto the seat.
"Hi there," replied the boy breaking into a friendly smile, "I'm Lee, Lee Jordan."
"Well Lee Lee Jordan it's nice to meet you," Fred said resting his feet on the chair opposite, "I'm guessing you're a first year too?"
"Yep," nodded Lee enthusiastically, "I can't wait either, from what my parents told me about it, it sounds amazing."
"Yeah it should be great," George reached into his pocket and pulled out a pack of cards, "want to play a few hands of Exploding Snap?"
The hours on the train slowly trickled by. The three of them played many games of cards, exchanged stories, discussed Quiditch, and were visited by Charlie twice; the first time to say hi as he was passing on his prefect patrolling duties, the second time to tell them to behave and keep the noise down.
"I swear to God his head ended up the size of a cow before my parents realised what was happening," laughed Fred as he told another story.
"Yep, and for some reason after that dad never left his wand around where I could find it," George nodded, "still, I didn't know any better I was only five, and it was my own head after all."
"I bet your parents will be wondering what to do will all their free time now they don't have to keep an eye on you two," concluded Lee.
"Ah... well not if they go in our room they won't," said George.
"Oh yeah, what was it mum said again?" asked Fred.
"She was going to give our room a complete clean after we left," George reminded him.
"That's right, I just hope she doesn't look in my bed side cabinet without taking precautions," Fred grinned in spite of himself.
"Or in the wardrobe..." added George.
"...or under the bed," finished Fred.
"You know Fred," George said turning to his twin, "I think we'll be lucky if we're allowed home at Christmas."
"To be honest if she checks under the bed I think we'll be lucky if we are allowed home at all," concluded Fred.
"Here," Lee nodded at some of the other students moving passed their compartment, "looks like people are starting to get changed."
The three of them opened their trunks, pulled out their robes and began to get dressed. When they finished Fred looked down at his trousers which were slightly too long for his legs.
"Damn, Bill was tall when he was our age," he said kicking a foot out and watching the end flap about.
"At least you dont have to worry about Charlie being fat," George was holding his baggy trousers up with one hand while he searched through his clothes for a belt.
"It could be worse," said Lee.
The twins looked over at their new friend. Lee's trousers flopped over the ends completely enveloping his feet while he pulled the waistband out showing about half a foot of gap between his body and the material.
"Mum said I would grow into them," Lee explained shrugging.
"Here," Fred tossed him over a belt, "most of my clothes were Bill's so I doubt I'll be needing this."
It had gotten dark by the time they had pulled into the station. Lee, Fred and George piled out of the train and onto the platform with the rest of the students, leaving their luggage aboard as Charlie had told them to. It was easy to spot the first years amongst the crowd, most were looking around wide eyed in the lamp-light while the older students were walking off towards a collection of black horseless carriages which were waiting for them. Some of the first years went to make for the carriages with the rest of the pupils.
"Fir' years over ere with me!" boomed a loud voice.
"Bloody hell," swore Fred as he saw the source of the voice.
There was a huge man about twice the height of a normal man and easily five times as wide towering above everyone at the far end of the platform. His face was hidden behind a wild bushy beard which stretched up his face and joined his long tangled hair.
"At least we don't have his hand me downs," George whispered awe struck.
"I'm Rubeus Hagrid," said the large man waving at the gathered first years, "Keeper of Keys and Grounds here at Hogwarts, follow me down ter der lake."
The first years duly followed Hagrid towards the water; most were twisting their heads left and right warily as if they expected something to jump out at them, some, like Fred and George, were excitedly looking around trying to see everything at once, every now and then a student would see something new and point it out to his fellow first years, generally while shouting loudly in the case of the Weasley twins. This continued all the way onto the small boats, which they clambered into, talking excitedly between themselves.
Fred and George sat in one of the boats looking around the for the oars, before they could tell Hagrid that they didn't have any, their boat jerked forward on itsown and started to glide out across the lake as the other boats followed suit.
"It's the castle!" came a voice from one of the boats at the front of the group. Everyone craned their necks forward trying to see it as well. A wave of 'ooh's' and 'ahh's' passed through the boats as slowly all of the first years caught their first glimpse of the school, the full moon casting it in an impressive silhouette against the clear night sky.
"You know Fred," George looked over to his twin, just as one of the massive tentacles of the giant squid broke the water and waved at them, "I think I'm gonna like it here"