A/N: So this is basically my take on Albus and Rose's first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I've done my best with what we were given in the Epilogue and hopefully have turned it into something you'll enjoy - so, here we go! Chapter one starts more or less where the Epilogue left off. Don't forget to review!
Arriving at Hogwarts
Standing on the warm platform of Hogsmeade station, Albus adjusted his plain black school robes, looking around him intently, trying to get a good peer around the station. It was brightly lit, and the orange light spread along the whole platform. All around him, students were standing, packed together like sardines, chatting and whispering and conferring. Most of them, like Albus, were eleven years old and brand new first-years. Each of them were wearing pain black robes, an item on everyone's Hogwarts lists that they had received by owl post just a few weeks before.
"First years over here, please! This way, first years only! Come on, now, be quick. Line up over here, please!" the voice of a young woman cut clear across the noisy chatter of students. "Come on, now, no time to dawdle!" there was a sudden movement, and all at once the students began making their way towards the end of the station.
Albus Potter hurried forward, pushing his way through the throng of tightly-packed students to where the woman was standing. Close behind him was Rose Weasley, freckled with a mane of bright red hair. She caught up with him in seconds, and they fell into step, making for the lengthening queue of students lining up near the edge of the cliff, a flight of wooden steps leading down the rock face and right up to the smooth, gleaming lake beneath. They had glimpsed it briefly from the scarlet steam train that had brought them there, the famous Hogwarts Express.
Albus and Rose took their places in the long line of children, each the age of eleven, all looking around expectantly. He went onto his tiptoes, peering round.
"How are we supposed to get across the lake?" a voice nearby asked. The speaker had an Irish accent. Albus spotted about two dozen wooden boats, all tied up at the bank of the lake. This seemed like the answer to the student's question. He turned round.
"They've got boats for us. I think we go in those" Albus said, shrugging.
"I thought it would be a bit cold for swimming" a young girl stepped forward, hazel eyes shining in the light. She had wavy, chestnut-brown hair, and olive skin.
"Me name's Molly. Molly Finnigan. What's yours?" the girl, Molly, asked him. He smiled.
"I'm Albus. Albus Potter" he answered.
"You're never! You're Harry Potter's son?" Molly enquired in disbelief. Albus nodded.
"Well, that's something you don't hear every day. I'm very pleased to meet you, Albus" Molly grinned. "Best hope you and I will be in the same house!" she laughed. Albus decided he liked Molly a lot. She seemed very interested in him, and he was OK with that. He realised that being the son of the Boy Who Lived was going to get him very far at Hogwarts.
"Everybody here? OK then. I'm Violet Sinistra, Keeper of the Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts. I'm also the daughter of Professor Sinistra of the Astronomy Department. Alright? I'll be taking you to Hogwarts, so if you'll follow me down to the boats, please! This way!" Violet Sinistra waved her hand as a signal for them to go down after her. With difficulty, about a hundred or so students made their way down the wooden steps towards the boats.
The wooden boat rocked unsteadily on the glassy black surface of the lake as Albus stepped out of it, craning his neck to get a better look at the view stretching in front of him. Silhouetted against the dark, inky blue sky, was Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It had appeared gigantic all the way from the Black Lake. Now it seemed of monstrous proportions, particularly to about a hundred small children. All around him, dozens of first-year students were gasping in awe, gazing upon the brightly lit castle with utter excitement.
"We're finally here! Can you believe it?" Rose whispered animatedly in Albus' ear, her curls of flaming red hair bouncing around her shoulders as she spun round to get a better look. Rose was one of Albus' closest friends, with whom he had grown up ever since he could remember. In the orange glow of the lamp that she was holding, he noticed that her face was flushed with happiness, her lips parted in a huge smile. Albus smiled himself, adrenalin pumping through the veins of his eleven-year old self, giddy with excitement. He looked around, and saw Molly smiling at him from a few feet away. He returned her gesture with a grin that spread from one ear to the other.
"D'you think we'll be in Gryffindor?" Albus whispered.
"Of course" Rose said. "Our parents were, and their parents before them. Gryffindor is where we belong. Why?" she asked. Albus shrugged.
"James kept saying that I would be in Slytherin. He wouldn't stop going on about it until Mum shut him up. He said that because our Dad was nearly in Slytherin, he was sure that I would be. But I don't want to be in Slytherin." Albus explained, a pained expression appearing on his face for a split second.
"You won't be in Slytherin" Rose assured him. Albus remembered something that his father had said to him on Platform 9 ¾, just before he had boarded the Hogwarts Express. He'd been worried about what James had said, and had told his father his anxieties. The Sorting hat takes your own opinion into account. It did for me.
It had turned out that the Sorting Hat had been going to put him in Slytherin, but because he had been so intent on not being sorted into Slytherin, the hat had chosen Gryffindor instead. One of the main reasons was that he did not want to be in the same house as Draco Malfoy. Albus thought hard about this.
"You're right" he told Rose. "I probably won't be. James was just winding me up. He does that a lot" Albus said pointedly. James did wind him up an awful lot. He decided not to give it any more thought. Of course he would be in Gryffindor, no question about it.
"Right, come on! Better get you up to the castle so you can all get sorted. Come on, quickly!"
After weeks of waiting, of sitting on his bed wondering, he was finally here. He was finally going to learn how to be a wizard.