Chapter 1: On the Way

To say that Rose Weasley was excited to go to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was a colossal understatement. As long as she could remember, her parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents had been telling her about the magical school and their many adventures. Her mother told her about taking several classes her third year with the help of a Time-Turner, while her father entertained her with stories of his successful, if not brief, Quidditch career. Her Uncle Harry told her in private about sneaking into Hogsmeade through the tunnel accessed in a one-eyed crone's hump, and her Aunt Ginny made Rose laugh by telling her about her father's reaction to finding Ginny behind a tapestry kissing a boy. Rose wanted to hop on the Hogwarts Express as quickly as possible to begin her own story and adventure!

When she arrived at Platform 9 ¾ with her parents and younger brother, Hugo, already sporting her brand new school robes, she immediately spotted her cousin, Albus, who was also beginning his first year at the school. He looked like he was going to be sick to his stomach. She could tell James, his brother, was taking the mickey with him, telling Albus he was going to be sorted into Slytherin house, as he had done all summer. She could see him having a slight panic attack, but felt that he really had no reason to be in hysterics. Before she could tell him to calm down, however, a movement by her father caught her eye. She saw he was looking at a family across the platform—a man her parent's age with receding blond hair and a prominent chin standing next to a boy who looked almost identical in every way.

"So that's little Scorpius," Rose's father said under his breath to her Uncle Harry. "Make sure you beat him in every test, Rosie. Thank God you inherited your mother's brains."

Rose heard her mother admonish her father, but the rest of his words were lost on her. She was too enthralled with staring at the young Scorpius. She was immediately intrigued by him. He stood very straight, his head held high and his expression emotionless. It was his eyes, however, that intrigued her the most. They say the eyes are the window to a person's soul, and this was no exception with Scorpius.

Scorpius, Rose could tell from nearly an entire platform away, was sad.

Scorpius stared at the scarlet train in front of him.

"And don't even think about getting into any sort of trouble. I don't need the headmaster breathing down my neck about your behavior when I have better things to do. You've been an embarrassment enough, just existing."

He had been listening to his father cruelly berate him for nearly 15 minutes. Scorpius wished that he could say that this was a rare occurrence.

"Yes, sir."

Scorpius could tell that his father's glare was upon him, and continued to stare at the train.

"Get on the train now. It's about to leave."

"Yes, sir," Scorpius replied. He grabbed his trunk and dragged it towards the locomotive, desperately eager to get away from his father.

"Oh, and Scorpius?" his father called out. Scorpius turned around once inside the train door, hoping his father would actually say something nice, such as good luck this year or write me when you get there. Instead, he heard, "Try to find a friend's house to stay at this Christmas." And without another glance, his father walked away, his mother silently trailing behind, through the barrier between the wizarding and Muggle worlds.

Scorpius sighed and mumbled, "Yes, sir," before dragging his trunk into an empty compartment and sitting down besides the window.

"No I won't! I can't be!"

"Face it, little brother, the Slytherin blood runs deep in your veins," James snorted, finding amusement in his terrified brother.

"No! Because if it did run in my veins it would run in yours, too, and you're not in Slytherin!" Albus ranted.

Rose and Albus had sat with James and two of his Gryffindor friends when boarding the train two hours ago. Since then, an almost non-stop argument about Albus' future house placement had occurred to the extreme amusement of James and his friends. Unfortunately for Rose, she found it to be quite tedious after the first thirty seconds.

"It skips a few generations. Then it picks only one heir and gives him the Slytherin traits. I'm afraid that's gone to you, pal."

"No it hasn't!"

"It's deeply magical stuff, Al," James explained with a serious look on his face. "You'll understand once you've been sorted there."

"No! Stop being an idiot!" Al yelled, putting his hands up to his head to cover his eyes and taking deep breaths.

Rose had finally had enough and got up. She left the compartment without a word.

Ah… even with the voice of hundreds of other students echoing in the train's corridor, it was still more peaceful than the compartment she had just left. She stretched her gangly limbs and ran her hands through her bright red hair before she began walking-or what was an attempt to walk. Just as she had turned to get as far away from her arguing cousins as possible, she bumped into someone leaving the compartment right next to hers.

"Excuse me."

Rose looked up and saw young Scorpius standing against his closed compartment door, allowing her to pass.

Rose smirked at his polite behavior. "You're excused."

Scorpius stared at her for a brief moment, before rolling his eyes and continuing along his way. Rose giggled silently. Growing up with ten cousins and a little brother helped her gain a quick wit about her, a wit she loved to use to annoy her family and, as it turned out, Scorpius.

Before walking away, Rose took a glance into his compartment, curious to see who he had befriended. She was stunned by what she saw.

"Why are you sitting by yourself?" she called to a retreating Scorpius.

She saw the back of Scorpius bristle. His shoulders hunched up and his hands balled into fists. "Do mind your own business, won't you, Weasley?" he seethed without looking at her. He stood in the same spot for several more seconds, took a few deep breaths, and unclenched his fists before quickly continuing his retreat.

Rose watched him walk away, feeling stung by his words and actions. She began to understand her father's weariness of the boy. Yet there was something about him that kept her curious… something she fully intended to reveal.