Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling.

Twins

"Padma, look!"

"Not now," Padma whispered as the intimidating Professor McGonagall, who towered over them and the other first-years, called out the name, "Moon…" in front of the entire Great Hall. A nervous-looking kid stumbled up onto the four-legged stool and put on the ragged Sorting Hat.

"No, really, look…" Parvati nudged her twin hard in the ribs. Padma made a stifled noise and McGonagall shot the sisters a warning look as the Sorting Hat called out a House name.

"You're not getting us into trouble on our first day," Padma breathed angrily from the side of her mouth.

"But look!" Parvati insisted. "It's Harry Potter! I'm sure of it!"

This caused Padma to turn around and face her twin fully as Parvati motioned toward a small, skinny boy standing a meter or two behind them. He was wearing glasses, and sure enough, under a mop of messy dark hair was the signature lightning bolt scar he was famed for. Dully Padma realized that McGonagall had called out someone named "Nott…."

"I wonder what he's like," Parvati whispered. "You think we'll get to meet him?"

"Who cares," Padma said, turning back around as "Parkinson, Pansy" was called, and a sour-looking girl took her place on the stool. "Right now all we should be worrying about is what House we'll get into."

This very subject had been a matter of discussion between the twins all throughout the train ride to Hogwarts. Padma was convinced that they would be sorted into Ravenclaw like their father. But Parvati was determined that they would follow in their mother's footsteps as Gryffindors.

Suddenly the Sorting Hat's booming voice yelled out "SLYTHERIN!" and Pansy Parkinson made her way to the cheering Slytherin table.

McGonagall scrolled down her list and came to stop at the next name. "Patil," her stern voice called out. "Padma."

Padma shot her twin one last look, and Parvati gave her sister's arm a little pinch. Padma consciously took her place on the stool, acutely aware of the hundreds of eyes throughout the Great Hall staring at her, and placed the Sorting Hat upon her head, where it fell down over her eyes.

"Hm, let's see," she heard a voice in her head saying. "Lots of brains… a fair bit of courage, too…."

Suddenly Padma thought of her father's proud, intelligent face, and the Sorting Hat cried out loudly, "RAVENCLAW!"

Yes! Padma thought. She caught her sister's gaze in the crowd of first-years, flashed her a smile, and went to join the cheering Ravenclaw table.

People shook her hand and clapped her on the back. The Ravenclaws all seemed very nice, but Padma couldn't help but feel a little lonely with her twin all the way across the room. She was glad to know that Parvati would soon be joining her.

"Patil," McGonagall called out. "Parvati."

Padma watched her sister occupy the same place on the stool that she had just moments ago. Parvati looked exactly like her in every way, from her petite nose and clear, black eyes to her long, dark hair as she placed the Sorting Hat upon her head. Padma felt that familiar sense of déjà vu she often got when watching her twin, only something was different this time. Something was wrong.

"GRYFFINDOR!" the Sorting Hat shouted out, and Padma felt her insides go numb.

As though in slow motion, she saw her twin set the Sorting Hat down and make her way across the Great Hall to another table, where the rowdy Gryffindors were celebrating. Parvati seemed happy, but for a moment she caught her sister's eyes with a look of regret before she was swallowed up in the throng of people.

Padma gulped, and she knew at the same moment her sister did, too. It's okay, Padma tried to tell herself. I'll still get to see Parvati around. So what if we're not in the same House?

But the truth was she had never truly been separated from her twin before, and for a moment, she felt as though she had lost a part of herself.