Hey all! This is my first fanfic, so hopefully I catch the interest of a reader of two. Reviews (both positive and negative) are more than welcome! Just as a heads-up, I'm planning on updating once a week (every Sunday). It is possible that I could have the rare midweek update. I'll have to see.

I'm a college student, not J.K. Rowling. The world of Harry Potter is hers.

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First Year: Welcome to Hogwarts

"Dominique, stay close to me. Zere are so many people, you might get lost. Oh, where did your sister get to?"

I couldn't help but roll my eyes at my mum's fussing. Honestly, I didn't understand what she was so flustered about. I tugged on the sleeve of her jumper until she looked down at me. "I'll be fine, Mum," I promised, raising my voice in order to be heard over the bustle of Platform 9 and 3/4.

My dad laughed and ruffled my hair, causing me to grin as well. "See, love, she's less nervous than you are. There's no need to worry about our Dom."

Mum shot him an irritated look when he used my nickname. I shook my head at her annoyance. How could mum not be used to the nickname? She was the only one who still called Vic, Lou, and me by our full names.

As we made our way along the platform I spotted my sister through the crown, talking with Teddy. No surprises there. They were two years apart and in different houses, and yet the pair were best friends. In fact, I was starting to suspect that Vic harbored a crush on the metamorphmagus standing in front of her. I elbowed Lou, who was walking beside me, and pointed to Vic and Teddy. We both snickered as we watched her fawn over the new prefect badge pinned to Teddy's shirt. My sister was Ravenclaw through and through, and since her first year she had been determined to be made prefect. The fact that fifth-year Teddy had obtained that status had become her obsession over the past few weeks.

We both looked away quickly when Vic began to walk over to our little group. She stopped in front of me, inspecting me with a critical eye. "Really, Dom, I know you don't care about your appearance, but it wouldn't hurt to make a good first impression."

I looked down at my beat-up trainers with a shrug. I don't know why Vic is always trying to get me to care about my looks. Truth be told, I'm a bit of a tomboy, and everyone knows it. I avoid makeup like it's the plague. I wear clothes that Vic classifies as 'absolutely ghastly' (though I see nothing wrong with jeans, jumpers, and trainers). And my hair? Forget it. I just pull it up into a half-hearted ponytail and let it be. My veela blood, however, seems determined to shine through any and all attempts to downplay my features. Even I have to admit that I'm passably pretty. Still, I hate all of the attention. Even now, I can see several boys near me giving both Vic and me appraising looks. I'm only eleven, for Merlin's sake!

Mum ended my (rather critical) self-evaluation with a hug. "You weel be good, yes? You do not 'ave any of your Uncle George's products, do you?"

I shook my head and allowed her to kiss my cheek. Dad ruffled my hair again. "You'll do well, Dom. I know you will." Next to him, Lou scuffed his feet against the ground and gave me a goodbye slug on the shoulder. I playfully pushed him back, then grabbed my trunk and dragged it toward the train as mum called, "Write us!"

Once aboard the train, I trudged down the aisle, searching for a compartment. Two older boys walked past me and I dropped my gaze to the floor. Reflex, I suppose. "Dom!" Startled, I looked up and saw my cousin Fred standing outside a compartment. "Come on, I've saved you a seat!"

Upon entering the compartment, I knew I was in trouble. Fred was not alone; two boys and a girl were also there, already seated and sharing a laugh. They all looked up when I stepped through the door, and I couldn't stop myself from flinching away from their stares. Instead of meeting their eyes, I sat next to the girl, with Fred on my other side and the two boys across from me.

Thankfully, my cousin wasn't one to keep quiet. "So, gents and lady, this is my oh-so-beloved cousin, Dom. Don't let the lack of red hair fool you, she's a Weasley just like me!" I slapped his shoulder, which only caused his grin to grow wider.

"I'm Angelina Wood," the girl next to me remarked. "And that is my prat of a twin brother, Sean." The taller of the two boys narrowed his eyes threateningly at his sister, then turned to offer me a smile. I could feel my cheeks growing pink. Damn the Weasley blush!

The boy next to Sean fingered his dreadlocks, giving me a sidelong glance. "River Jordan." I couldn't prevent an amused smile from flashing across my face. I knew I shouldn't find his name funny; I certainly had experience with less-than-satisfactory names. Surprisingly, River chuckled when he saw my grin. "I know, awful name, huh? But apparently it had sentimental value to my dad. Something about a codename for a radio show he hosted." River shrugged. "Dunno how he talked my mum into going along with it, to be honest."

I nodded and the conversation stuttered to a halt. I knew the others were expecting me to say something, but I just couldn't force any words to come to my mind. So instead I sat there, mentally kicking myself, cursing my silence. Thankfully, Fred was naturally talkative and didn't like pauses in conversation, so he spoke up. "She's a shy one, isn't she?"

This time, instead of a playful slap, I socked him one on the arm. He yelped and inched away from me, muttering something about violent tendencies. I forced myself to look up at the others sitting in the compartment. "So, you all know each other?" My voice came out far too quiet for my liking, but at least I managed to say something.

Sean nodded. "Yeah, all of our mums played Quidditch together at Hogwarts, along with my dad, and Fred's as well. They have 'team reunions' all the time, and they always brought us, which was okay 'cause we're all the same age. Your Uncle Harry was part of their team, as well, so he's been to a few."

River slung an arm over Sean's shoulder. "Don't worry, Dom, we're officially inducting you into our group of amazing-ness." He and Fred both grinned, making their expressions scarily similar.

Angelina smiled at me. "Thank goodness for that! I'm tired of being the only girl. It's always up to me to keep these boneheads in line. Now I'll have someone to help me!" Laughter filled the compartment, and I shocked myself from joining in. Of course, that was when Vic decided to walk in.

Upon seeing her, Sean and River's laughter died. Their eyes widened and they both adopted pained expressions, mouths slightly agape. Sean raised a hand to nervously flatten his hair, and River cross his arms across his chest in order to hide a small hole in his jumper. Fred grinned wickedly at his friends' attempts to make themselves more presentable. Angelina, meanwhile, was directing rapid-fire glances between Vic and me.

Vic smirked slightly, and I knew that she was about to fulfill her role as the evil older sister. "Why, Dominique, look at you, you've made friends already. I'm so proud of you."

I grimaced at her emphasis on my full name. "Don't call me that, Victoire," I snapped, my shyness evaporating as a result of my familiarity with my sister and my annoyance at her. "How about you turn off the charm, yeah? Save it for someone else. Say, Teddy."

Vic quirked an eyebrow at my, completely ignoring my dig at her and Teddy. "I can't 'turn off the charm,' my dear younger sister, and neither can you, so you might as well get used to people staring at you."

Angelina interrupted my retort before the first few words had even left my mouth. "Wait, you two aren't twins?"

"Nope," Vic replied cheerfully. I couldn't really blame Angelina for her assumption; Vic and I do look eerily alike. We both inherited my mum's looks: silvery-blonde hair that falls ramrod straight around our faces, pale skin, light-colored eyes, and a slim figure. We do, however, have slightly different eye colors. Vic's eyes are an icy blue, and mine are more a light blue-grey. Also, unlike Vic, I have my dad's freckles, though luckily they're confined to my cheeks and chest and not all over my arms and hands like his are.

By the way she was inspecting her nails, I could tell that Vic was quickly growing bored. "I just stopped by to remind you to change into your robes. And here." She shoved several sickles into my hand. "For the trolley. My treat." With one last smile and a wave, she left the compartment.

I think that's what's most annoying about Vic: she can be an absolute prat, and I swear she gets some sick sort of pleasure out of trying to embarrass me in front of other people, but then she goes and cancels all that out by doing something nice. In the end, she's got a caring heart, no matter how self-centered and obnoxious she may act.

Angelina seemed to notice Sean and River's expressions for the first time. "What's wrong with you two?" she asked, snapping her fingers and breaking through their daze. Fred was laughing his arse off, the git.

"It's not their fault. We're part veela. They can't help it." I could feel my shyness returning, causing my brief moment of boldness to vanish.

River seemed confused. "But...we didn't act like that when you came in."

Angelina kicked him in the shin. Hard. "Oh, show some tact, won't you? Just 'cause she doesn't flaunt her looks doesn't mean she isn't pretty."

I blushed when I noticed Sean was observing me pensively, as though he was looking for something he'd missed seeing before. Thank Merlin that Fred chose that moment to pull a deck of Exploding Snap out of his pocket. We spent the rest of the trip playing Snap and eating the sweets I'd bought off the trolley.

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I stood in the middle of the Great Hall next to my new friends as the Sorting Hat, oddly enough, sang a song. I was far too worried to listen. What if I wasn't sorted into a house? Or worse, what if I was sorted into Slytherin?

The Sorting went by in a blur. Only individual moments really stood out in my mind. I vaguely noticed that River was sorted into Gryffindor. I also saw that Frank Longbottom, a family friend, was sorted into Hufflepuff.

All too soon for my liking, the professor next to the hat called my name. "Weasley, Dominique."

I was so nervous, I wasn't even annoyed by the use of my full name. I approached the hat quickly, my breathing shallow. Why oh why did this have to be such a public event? I hated the feeling of everyone's eyes of me.

I couldn't help but jump slightly when I put the hat on my heard and heard a voice. No one had told me it talked to you while you were being sorted!

"A Weasley, eh? I can't seem to be rid of you lot for long. I do remember your sister, clearly a Ravenclaw, that one. But you...you're fairly clever, yes, but not really up to snuff with her house. Loyal, I see that. A quiet one, though, aren't you? Don't mind being on your own, hmm...I'd say Slytherin, but there's something else to you that's just beneath the surface, and if I put you there it'll never show."

Despite my best efforts to calm myself, I could feel my anxiety increasing, reaching a level that probably wasn't good for my health at all. None of the other students had needed this much time to be sorted!

"Quite the puzzle, but I do love challenges...Well, the old Weasley standby should fit you well, and that house could use a level head like yours. GRYFFINDOR!"

The last word echoed through the hall as I removed the hat and made my way over to my new house's table amid applause. I could see Teddy and Molly cheering me on from the Hufflepuff table as I took a seat next to River.

Later, as I helped myself to a serving of treacle tart, I realized that I had sat through the majority of the feast with a silly smile plastered on my face. River, Fred, Angelina, and Sean all sat near me, their playful banter causing my smile to grow wider. I had never thought that I could be this optimistic about school, but with my friends sitting next to me, my first year at Hogwarts no longer felt like something to stress over.