Title: But I'm a Weasley!
Summary: Rose Weasley didn't mean to be different. She didn't intend to stand out in her family. She didn't expect to be Sorted... into Slytherin.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything associated with Harry Potter, and I'm making no profit off of this story. Further, the characters I've made up and the plot don't even belong to me- as a current United States Peace Corps Volunteer, I have no intellectual property rights for anything I create during this two year period; anything I write or make is public domain and I'm not allowed to make any profit off of even original work. So the things that don't belong to JK Rowling, Bloomsbury, or WB are considered to be public domain, and technically you can use them as you like. I'd appreciate if you'd at least tell me, but that's courtesy, not law.
A/N: As you'll be able to see, this story starts a tiny bit before the Deathly Hallows Epilogue leaves off. And yes, I got the title of the fic from the excellent movie "But I'm a Cheerleader!", but it's pretty much just the title- I'm pretty sure Rose is straight in this story. I do think JK Rowling was hinting at Rose/Scorpius, actually. Hope you enjoy!
A/N 2: I could use a beta. In particular, a Britpicker. Let me know if you're interested!
Chapter 1: The Sorting
Rose looked around Platform 9 ¾. Where were they? It was so hard to see in all this smoke, and she was so nervous, she would feel a lot better when she saw-
All at once, the family of five came close enough that Rosie and her family could see their faces. It was the Potters! Exactly who Rose had been hoping to find.
"Hi," Albus said to her, sounding as relieved as Rose felt. She smiled widely at him. Rosie was awfully glad that Albus was in the same year as her and starting Hogwarts at the same time. She couldn't imagine if she'd had to start school all alone and knowing nobody, like her mother had so many years ago.
Her father and Uncle Harry chatted about Muggle driving as they hauled hers and Albus's trunks onto the train.
"So what house do you think you'll be in, Rosie?" Hugo asked her excitedly.
"Well, Gryffindor, I hope," she answered. "But I might end up in Ravenclaw, I guess."
"I'm definitely going to be in Gryffindor!" Lily announced. "I can't wait. I want to go now!"
"I dunno," Hugo said. "Gryffindor's cool and all, but do you really want to be with our entire family? I mean, anything you do wrong, you know somebody'sgoing to owl one of our aunts or uncles."
"So what house do you want to be in?" Lily asked.
"I said, I dunno," Hugo answered. "Maybe Ravenclaw?"
Just then their father and Uncle Harry came back, and heard their last snipped of conversation.
"If you're not in Gryffindor, we'll disinherit you," said their dad, "but no pressure."
"Ron!" her mother admonished.
Lily and Hugo laughed, but it didn't seem so funny to Rosie. Glancing over at Albus, she could tell that he was worried too.
Hugo had a point. Rosie, already an over-achieving bookworm, had mapped out how many Weasleys or Potters would be at Hogwarts during each of her years there. This year, there would be six in total: Victoire, who was a seventh year and would be Head Girl; Molly, who was a fifth year and a newly-made prefect; Dominique in third year; James in second; and now, she and Albus in their first year. Victoire, Molly, Dominique, and James were Gryffindors all. Nobody had yet broken the tradition.
And once fifth year rolled around for Rosie, there would be no fewer than ten Weasley-Potters at Hogwarts. Gryffindor would be overrun with them.
But it would be even worse to be left out of that. Rosie bit her lip.
"He doesn't mean it," both Mum and Aunt Ginny assured her, and Rose tried to relax a bit.
"Look who it is," Dad said suddenly. Rose whirled around to see who he was talking about, apparently a family of three, father and son both blonde. She didn't know them, but it was obvious her parents, aunt and uncle did.
"So that's little Scorpius," her Dad said, almost too quiet for Rose to hear him. . "Make sure you beat him in every test, Rosie. Thank God you inherited your mother's brains."
"Ron, for heaven's sake," said Mum. "Don't try to turn them against each other before they've even started school!"
"You're right, sorry," said Dad, then he said, "Don't get too friendly with him, though, Rosie. Granddad Weasley would never forgive you if you married a pureblood."
"Hey!" James called, and yammered something about Teddy and Victoire. Rosie, however, gazed over at Scorpius instead of paying attention. She'd heard her parents talk about Malfoy a few times, but she'd never had a face to put to the name. Scorpius didn't look so bad. In fact he looked almost as nervous as she was. Something perverse in her suddenly wanted to get to know him.
He turned his head and looked surprised to see her staring at him. Rose flushed and turned away quickly, trying to focus instead on her family's conversation.
"It's nearly eleven, you'd better get on board," Uncle Harry said. Rosie, who had been looking forward to going to Hogwarts for years, hugged her Mum and Dad goodbye and scrambled to get onto the train.
"I'll save a seat for you!" she told Albus as she scampered onto the Hogwarts Express.
But her way was blocked by a bunch of students, all staring out the window. Rose huffed impatiently, and still hadn't managed to get very far a few minutes later when Albus joined her.
"Why are they all staring?" Albus asked, leaning out the window and trying to see whatever the others were looking at.
Rose rolled her eyes. She loved her cousin, but he could be so clueless!
"It's me," Dad said, calling up to them. "I'm extremely famous."
Rosie laughed, and so did Albus, as the light bulb seemed to go off over his head. Yes, Albus, Rose thought sarcastically, your father saving the wizarding world does make him famous.
Finally the train pulled away and all the other student stopped gaping and starting moving to find empty compartments. Rosie walked down the corridor, Albus trailing behind her, as they tried to find somewhere to sit. James might have let them sit with him, but his compartment was completely full. Another compartment contained Dominique, one of her friends, and more boys than could comfortably sit down- some of them were standing up just to be near her.
"She's only thirteen!" Rosie exclaimed once they'd shut the door to that compartment. "Some of those guys were definitely at least fifth or sixth years. That's kind of sick."
"I guess they can't help it, with her being part-Veela and all," Albus offered.
Finally they found a free compartment, and sat down together.
"Rosie?" Albus asked, hesitantly. "What would you do if I were in Slytherin?"
"What do you mean, what would I do?" Rose asked.
"I mean, would you still talk to me?"
"Nope. I'd never speak to you again, of course," Rose said sarcastically. Honestly, her cousin could be so stupid sometimes. "I might end up in Ravenclaw, you know. Would you still talk to me?"
"That's different," Al objected.
"Yeah, I guess," Rose said with a shrug. "Well, better you than me."
But Al's annoyed remark was cut off when a dark-haired girl opened the door. "Do you mind if I join you?" she asked.
Both Rosie and Al knew her vaguely; it was Leonora Thomas, whose mother and father were good enough friends with their parents to come to one or two big parties each year- particularly Victory Day- but not good enough for them to come around many other times.
"Of course you can, Leonora," Rose said sweetly, secretly relishing that her cousin's protests were cut off. "So, are you excited for your first year?"
"Are you worried about what house you'll be sorted into?" Albus asked.
"Are you capable of talking about anything else?" Rosie asked impatiently. "You've been talking about Hogwarts Houses nonstop for a week! Give it a rest!"
"You must be very worried," Leonora said kindly.
Albus shrugged uncomfortably.
"I guess I'm more excited than worried," Leonora answered Albus's original question. "Dad was a Gryffindor and Mum was a Ravenclaw, and both sound excellent to me. It usually goes in families, you know."
"But not always," Albus pointed out.
Leonora shrugged. "Mum and Dad say I'm a Gryffindor through and through. And I've heard my parents saying you're exactly like your dad, Albus, so I'm sure you'll be in Gryffindor too."
Al looked a bit comforted by that. "Thanks, Leonora," he said.
Just then the door slid open again and a boy, even darker than Leonora, poked his head into the compartment. "Sorry, everywhere's full. Can I come in?"
"Sure," Rose said. "Come on in. Though, what does it say about us that we're the only place with free space? You're scaring people away, Al."
Albus grinned, "Who, me? Scare people away? You're confusing me with your face."
The boy raised his eyebrows as he sat down.
"That, or you're confusing my face with your smell," Rosie shot back with a grin.
Both Leonora and the new boy seemed alarmed now.
"Al and I like to insult each other, but it's all in good fun," Rosie explained to them hastily.
"Yeah, don't mind us," Albus agreed. "It's just our shtick."
This was a common problem with Rose and Albus.
With all the insults flying back and forth between them, even their parents often forgot that Rose and Albus were best friends. Even Rose's mum, who usually seemed to know everything, just didn't understand that was the whole point: they liked each other so much, and were so comfortable with each other, that Rosie and Al knew, without the slightest doubt, that the other didn't really mean it. They both knew that no matter what they said to each other, they loved each other and they knew they were only kidding.
But everybody else found it as weird as all heck.
"So what's your name?" Rose asked the boy who had entered.
"I'm Tony. Tony Zabini. How about you?"
"I'm Rose Weasley, and this is my cousin Albus Potter."
Tony shot them a brief, surprised look- it seemed he'd heard of them, or at least, had quickly deduced who their parents were- but he quickly schooled his expression back to neutral.
"And I'm Leonora Thomas," Leonora introduced herself.
"Nice to meet you all," Tony said politely. "What were you talking about?"
"Al here's just freaking out over what house he'll be in," Rose said. "Which is Slytherin."
"Rosie! I will not!"Albus smacked his cousin. "Shut up! Stop freaking me out! I swear, I will take any house but Slytherin. Even Hufflepuff!"
"So what house are you expecting to be?" Leonora asked Tony.
"Well," he said, quietly, "both my parents were in Slytherin."
Albus and Rosie immediately stopped their fighting, and an awkward silence descended on the four children. Al looked everywhere but at Tony, while in contrast, Rosie studied him thoughtfully.
"That's cool," she said finally. "Sorry, our family are all Gryffindors, so I was just winding Al up. But I just got gone done telling him I won't really care if he's in Slytherin, so we're just joking, really."
Al nodded solemnly, supporting Rose's words, though he still wouldn't look at Tony.
"It's okay," Tony said. "My family's the same with Gryffindor. I'm half worried my dad would disown me if I were in any house but Slytherin."
"My Dad threatened to do that!" Rosie exclaimed. "Except with Gryffindor. What's with parents, anyway? Since when are children not allowed to do their own thing?"
"So you want to break off from your family, go into another house?" Tony asked.
"Me? Oh, no! I want Gryffindor. I just mean, you know, theoretically. How about you?"
"You know what?" Leonora suggested. "Let's not talk about this anymore. It seems like everyone but me is worried about this, and we'll all know soon enough."
Just then, the snack cart came to their door.
"You know what, Leonora, you're exactly right," Rose said. "I think it's time to get more sweets than our parents would ever let us have, and declare any talk of houses off-limits."
Everybody agreed, and the rest of the train ride proved to be extremely pleasant.
Rosie, Albus, Leonora, and Tony piled into a boat together to sail across the lake with the other first years, all led by Hagrid. By now all of them felt like good friends, even though really it had only been a few hours (except for Rose and Albus, of course). Rose knew that her father and Uncle Harry had met on the Hogwarts Express and had been best friends ever since. Might that happen with Leonora? Or if he wasn't in Slytherin, with Tony?
The four of them were one of the first boats across the lake, along with a boat carrying three students Rose didn't know, and Scorpius Malfoy.
"Hi!" Rose greeted them as she climbed out of the boat. "What's with all those slow-pokes, huh?"
She looked over at Scorpius and gave him a hesitant smile. She was curious about him, after what her parents had said at the train platform. She found herself mildly surprised when Scorpius smiled back at her, almost shyly.
"Hi, I'm Rose Weasley," she introduced herself, going to stand next to him. "You're Scorpius, right?"
The boy looked startled. "How did you know that?"
"Oh, Legilimancy," Rose said casually. "I know all your secrets, actually."
"Rosie!" Albus protested, elbowing her in the side. "You do not! Our parents pointed you out at Platform 9 ¾," he told Scorpius, to the boy's visible relief.
Rose burst out laughing, and to her surprise, so did Scorpius.
"That was a pretty good one," he complimented her as their chuckles subsided.
"Thanks," Rosie said. "Would've been better if Al hadn't ruined it, though."
Albus seemed unconcerned by Rosie's accusing stare.
The other boats were arriving now, and all the other First Years came onto the shore. Rose was looking at her new classmates, and thus in the direction out over the lake, when she heard a noise behind her: the click of an opening lock behind her and a low creaking. She spun around to see a long, stone flight of stairs, and at the top of those stairs, a huge wooden door was slowly swung open.
A witch was standing in the doorway, but it was hard to see her, as she was silhouetted by the light from the castle shining out from behind her into the dark evening.
Most of the students hesitated, but a few of the students- Leonora and Albus among them- immediately began running up the stairs. Once she'd seen Albus on his way up, Rose rushed to follow as well. As they got closer, Rose realized that she was pretty sure she knew the witch standing in the doorway. Yes; this woman had sometimes come to the celebration parties her family threw. Mum had said this woman had taught her favorite subject- Arithmancy- at Hogwarts. What was her name again?
The professor waited patiently until all the students were gathered at the top of the stone steps.
"Hello, all of you," she said, "and welcome. My name is Professor Vector-" (Yes! Rosie thought. That was the name! Vector!) "-and as you may remember from your acceptance letters, I'm the Deputy Headmistress. Please, follow me inside." She held the door wide open, and many students at once were able to pass through.
Rosie had been to Hogwarts a couple of times before, as both of her parents went to visit friends who worked there from time to time, but even she found herself in awe of the large, elaborate entrance hall.
She knew the Great Hall was to the right, but Professor Vector took all the first years into a small room to the side. When they were all gathered, she began to speak.
"Welcome to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I'm sure that after your journey, you're all eager to get to the start-of-term feast, but before we can start the banquet, each of you must be sorted into your Houses."
Of course, Rose knew all of this, and while usually she'd make a point of listening anyway, she was just so excited to finally be a student at Hogwarts! So she found her attention drifting in and out, and caught only bits and pieces of the Deputy Headmistress's speech.
"Sorting will take place in front of the entire school... Your houses will be like your family during your seven years at this school; you will sleep in the same dormitories as your house mates, eat at the same tables... While in recent years we have been trying to stress inter-house unity, and absolutely encourage friendships between students from different houses, most Hogwarts students find that most of their closest friends are from the same house..."
Finally, she told them that it was almost time for the Sorting Ceremony, and for everyone to prepare themselves to sit in front of the entire school for the ceremony.
"I'll return momentarily, and then we can begin," she told the students.
Everyone waited around nervously. Albus bit his fingernails raw and looked like he was going to be sick. Before long, Professor Vector returned, and led them into the Great Hall.
Again, despite having seen it before, Rosie was overwhelmed. She could see the stars above her so clearly; her family lived in a suburban neighborhood, so usually the ambient light made it difficult to see so many stars. She had to force herself to look back down so she could see where she was going, as the other students whispered to each other. She was content to just soak it all in.
When they were at the front of the Hall, near the Professors' Table, Professor Vector motioned for the students to stop. She then placed a stool in front of them, and put a very old, frayed hat on top of the stool.
Rose stared at the thing. She'd heard mentions of the Sorting Hat, but she'd never imagined it looking like that. It was so old and frayed, and dirty too. Why didn't they at least wash the thing?
She was startled when a rip near the rim opened and the hat began to sing.
I bet you never thought a hat
could point you towards your fate,
but I know where to put you
to truly make you great.
In times of deadly war and strife
this brim was almost shut forever;
but your mothers and your fathers
had success in their endeavor.
So listen close, for we now we know
your strength comes from your friends
(though even with your enemies
you can learn to make amends).
Perhaps those friends to help you
you'll find in Hufflepuff,
where of loyalty, hard work, and warmth
you will always find enough.
Or maybe it's in Gryffindor
you'll find your family true;
the brave, the bold, the unafraid
will always stand up for you.
In Slytherin, ambition rules,
but these folks surely know
that with partners come those cunning plans
that help their power grow.
And in Ravenclaw, with those quick minds
they've learned, as those brains run,
that as they study and they live
two heads are better than one.
I can put you where you'll truly fit
and I will do just that,
so come on up, don't be afraid,
put on the Sorting Hat!
Everyone second year and above burst into applause at the song. A few of the first years managed a few weak claps, but that was about it.
Compared to how Albus trembled beside her, Rosie seemed almost calm as she stood and watched the students get sorted, one by one. There was lots of time for suspense to build, as she knew she'd be one of the last called, but she mostly managed to contain her nerves.
Luckily for Albus, with the last name of Potter instead of Weasley, he was called much sooner. The poor boy looked like he was going to throw up, and Rose squeezed his arm reassuringly before he went to the stool and placed the large hat on his head.
There was a minute of deliberation before the hat finally yelled, "GRYFFINDOR!" Albus, of course, was visibly relieved as he went to join the Gryffindor table, to the congratulations of his older brother and cousins.
It was harder to be serene without her cousin waiting next to her, and Rose began fidgeting impatiently as she waited for her turn to be Sorted. Leonora Thomas was sorted into Gryffindor as well. Eventually there were only three students left: Rose, Tony, and a large boy Rosie didn't know.
"Clarence Warrington!" Professor Vector called, and he became a Slytherin.
Now it was her turn.
Rose drew in her breath and made her way to the front of the Hall, sat on the stool, and allowed the hat to be lowered onto her head.
"Ah, another Weasley," Rosie heard a little voice in her ear say.
Get used to it, she advised the hat. There are plenty more coming.
"Quite a remarkable brain in this head, oh yes," said the voice.
Because I know I have cousins? Rose wondered, sarcastically.
"And an enjoyment of learning as well. Though, hmm, not a lot of desire for hard work, not when you can avoid it... bravery, yes, you have that, yet there's a strong sense of ambition, cunning, falling just short of ruthlessness..."
Um, what? Sorting was not going how Rosie had expected. You don't mean...
"Yes, I think I know where you belong. Better be... SLYTHERIN!"
The last word had been yelled out loud, and Rose thought she heard it echoing off the walls of the Great Hall.
Which was suddenly very quiet.
Rose removed the hat shakily. Did that just happen? she asked herself silently. A look at the faces of the other students told her that yes, it had indeed happened.
Rose Weasley was a Slytherin.