Lucy Weasley and the Mask of Gold
Chapter One: Arrival
September 1st 2016
Lucy Septima Weasley was hardly the type to get emotional. Sure leaving home was scary but logically it could be done. Her parents had left for school at eleven, her sister, her cousins, her grandparents… It had been done. Now it was her turn.
And Lucy could not have been more nervous. King's Cross was buzzing with activity as she pushed the trolley through the station her father walking next to her occasionally looking down at her with a smile while her mum was talking with her sister behind them. Lucy adjusted the strap of her rucksack where she was holding some books for the trip and her school robes to change into when she arrived. Most of her books were fiction, many of them were adventure novels, and her mother had also recommended a book called Magic's of the Ancient World, which was coming along as well.
They arrived at platforms nine and ten, Lucy looked at it in a mixture of nervousness and excitement. She had been through before saying goodbye to her big sister when she left for school. Molly was wonderful; she sent her letters about her classes and other school goings on. She always made time for her little sister. Lucy appreciated it more than Molly could ever know. She stood in front of the wall while her father put a hand on her shoulder to make her wait for her mum and sister. Lucy wanted to go but she waited.
"Why are you waiting?" Lucy's mother asked as she and Molly stopped behind them. Her father smiled and motioned for Lucy and Molly to go ahead.
Lucy did not need to be told twice, she ran through the barrier feeling the heavy magic that surrounded it enveloping her senses for a brief moment before seeing a scarlet train beyond the crowd of people in front of her. She continued to walk forward a few feet to take in her surroundings and to get an idea of the train's layout. She was a bit scared the last few years of the loud noises and the smoke. Lucy had to at least manage her fear before she set off.
She was distracted as she looked for her sister and parents in the crowd and never saw the goggled boy until he ran into her trolley and fell over her trunk. Lucy looked at the boy as he lay sprawled on his back; the boy looked at her before springing excitedly to his feet and taking off into the crowd.
"Lucy, Lucy come here!"
Lucy turned the trolley with some effort and pushed it towards the voice of her dad who was waving her over. There were still about fifteen minutes before they had to be onboard. Her parents led them over to the train and put helped their daughters put their trunks in the carriage. Lucy unconsciously moved a little closer to her father as she spotted her cousin James in the distance, and that meant Freddie could not be far behind. She looked at the pavement under her feet expecting to find a dung bomb or a Wheeze test product. Eleven years of their antics had made her paranoid.
"Okay then, Molly look out for your sister," Lucy's father began his goodbye speech, "Make sure she doesn't get to lost. Please try to find the time to write this year." He pulled Lucy's sister into a tight hug. When she was released from what Lucy thought of as the death grip, her mum stepped in and hugged Molly as well. Lucy looked over her shoulder nervously to see if she could see her evil cousins. No sign of them, she released the breath she had been holding. Maybe she would go the whole trip without seeing them. Maybe they would all be put into different houses and her time with them would be minimal. "Lucy, I expect you to write as well. Be good, stay out of trouble and tell a professor if Fred and James cross the line." He started to button the top buttons of her coat and pull the ears of her cap over her ears and tie the string under her chin. He pulled her into a hug, Lucy always felt safer with her parents. Her dad especially.
When he let her go and turned to talk to one of the men he worked with, Lucy's mum pulled her into a hug. "Personally, we don't exactly care where you end up, in case you were worried." Lucy shook her head recalling the betting pool from the other night as he mum looked over at her husband to be sure he was still occupied with his co-worker, her mum unbuttoned the top buttons on her coat and untied her cap. "There, now you look like less of a stiff." She smiled mischievously.
Audrey Weasley was a pretty woman, long, wavy brown hair, heart-shaped face, and unusually pale blue eyes. Molly looked just like her; only Molly had their father's eyes and freckles that dotted her nose. Also Molly was already taller than their mum, a fact that Lucy's mum disliked but could not do much about. Her mother would look at her sometimes and say that Lucy was going up that road for height, but for now Lucy was still shorter then her mum and her mum was happy.
There was a whistle from the train and the children began to climb aboard, Lucy was sucked into the crowd and was brought inside by the mob of excited students. She struggled to find her way to the window to wave to her parents; she finally found a window and managed to squeeze her way between a couple of sixth years to wave to her parents. She pushed her glasses up and saw her father with an arm around her mum's waist as they both waved at the train and disappeared into the distance. The crowd began to disperse and go to the compartments. Where was Molly?
"Molly?" Lucy said softly as her voice got stuck in her throat as passersby jostled her. "Where are you Molly?"
Lucy started to walk down the corridor past all of the pushing and shouting children to try and find either her sister or an empty compartment. She adjusted the strap on her rucksack and opened doors into compartment after compartment, each one she tried was full or older students chased her off. After a few more minutes of searching, Lucy found a compartment that was empty and sat down in the window seat, pushed her glasses up her freckled nose, and watched the world pass by.
Well, she tried to watch the world pass by but her view was blocked by her own reflection. She wiped the window with the sleeve of her coat, but it was no help. Lucy gave up on the window and took a novel out of her bag. Reading on a train was something she always enjoyed while traveling. It was comforting, when she was younger she liked to pretend she was going to visit the people from her books and they could all be friends. Lucy only really had one good friend who would not be starting school until next year, but they had grown up together as their parents were friends. Lucy wanted adventure and excitement, she wanted to do great things and show her family that she was someone important and special that could be her own person and come out of the shadow of the family name. Her dad's family had a lot of influence in their world; Lucy wanted to make a mark that was hers alone.
She placed her shoulder against the wall and rested her head of dust brown hair against the cool window and propped her feet on the seat to rest the book on her knees. Her pale blue eyes scanned the pages as she finally felt herself starting to relax as the story began to unfold, the tale of a mysterious city beneath a wizarding city and all of the treasures and creatures that dwelled within. Lucy shivered delightedly as she felt the cool air of the underground cavern against her skin and saw the ancient stone ceilings above her head covered in old paintings depicting the history of this grand and otherworldly place. The stairs leading to the chapel where the great artifact resided…
The glass door to the compartment opened. Lucy looked up as she was pulled out of a scene involving the adventurous heroine meeting the male lead and possible love interest to find the boy with the quidditch goggles standing at the door. He smiled crookedly, "Are any of these seats taken?"
"No," Lucy went back to her book to finish the chapter. She never liked to set down a book before reaching the end of the chapter at least; it had to be some kind of emergency for her to do that. Meeting some strange boy did not qualify. "Take a seat if you want too."
The boy complied at took the seat across from Lucy and pressed his face against the window. Lucy marked reached the end of the chapter, but left the book open so she could look at the boy without being called strange or weird. Lucy had a very intense stare that she unintentionally did when she was looking at new people, kids had just run off calling her a freak when she did and Lucy did not need that right now. The boy just kept looking out the window. He seemed harmless, but so did James and Freddie.
He turned suddenly with a bright, excited smile. "I'm sorry, I didn't introduce myself. My name's Ollie, what's yours?"
"Lucy," she replied as she closed her book and prepared herself for the difficult task of being social with a person who was a complete stranger her age who had not been spirited away by James and Freddie. This boy seemed very interested in her answer and seemed to be hoping that she would continue talking. Lucy was not in the mood for idle chitchat.
Ollie had some color to his face; possibly from spending so much time outdoors Lucy ventured a guess. He had bright, vivid green eyes that sparkled with energy and mischief behind his rather shaggy brown hair. He suddenly asked another question, "Do you like Quidditch?"
Lucy blinked before comprehending the question fully, "Yes, I support Ireland."
"My dad plays for Puddlemere and my mum plays for the Tornadoes, I can't believe Puddlemere lost their shot at the cup last year in the semi-finals! That was a dirty play from the Scots, the snitch was not even nearby, and the Quaffle was on the other side of the pitch! Dad wasn't speaking full sentences for a week."
Ah, a Puddlemere fan. That explained the scarlet color on the goggles. "I'm sorry I missed the match on the wireless then, it sounds exciting." Lucy had a vague recollection of her dad uncharacteristically swearing at the wireless when that happened. Lucy was under a blanket on the sofa under a blanket with a fever and was drifting in and out of consciousness thinking about just how weird her family was.
"I had tickets and saw the whole thing. I'm hoping to get a spot on the House team this year."
"Aren't you a first year? They don't let first years play you know."
Ollie scowled, "They've made exceptions before." His nose wrinkled and the corners of Lucy's mouth twitched. He reminded her of Uncle Cappie. "I will be one of those exceptions." He smiled confidently. "So wha'cha reading?"
"Beneath the City," Lucy held the book out so he could read the back cover. Ollie smiled and took the book from her politely and skimmed his eyes over the back of it before giving it back to her.
"It sounds interesting."
"It is. It's about the discovery of an underground city and a race to find the lost treasures that reside there. In order to find the treasure, they need to pass many obstacles. Many of them are deadly."
Ollie chuckled nervously. Lucy did not notice, she had opened her book again and had begun to read. It was quiet in the compartment until the glass door slide open once again; Lucy felt her eyebrows knit together in annoyance.
There were two boys poking their heads inside the compartment, one was lanky with messy red hair and rectangular glasses. The other boy was dark skinned with a mischievous smile and his hands stuck deeply inside of his pockets, making Lucy nervous.
"Hello, Lucy." James drawled as he strutted into the compartment and took the seat next to his cousin.
Fred followed his lead and nudged Lucy away from the window seat so he could sit on her other side. "How is our dear cousin? Making friends are we?"
"That bloke doesn't look the type to go to Slytherin like Lucy," James said as he looked at Ollie curiously. Lucy noticed Ollie's expression change to one of mild annoyance. "Who are you?"
"Ollie," He smiled politely, "And you are?"
"James, this is my cousin Fred, and I assume you have met my other cousin."
"Which other cousin?" Lucy asked with a roll of her eyes and sarcasm dripping from her lips. "Didn't you claim no relation to me when Ireland won against Chudley last week?"
"We don't recall," James said as he took his arm off her shoulders, Fred following his lead. Good, Lucy did not trust either one as far as she could throw them. Having them nearby was giving her a headache. "Well, Lucy, you seem to be situated. Fred and I are off to sit with some of the other first years." James examined Ollie, "You want to come with us?"
Ollie smiled again, "No thanks, I'm all set here."
"Alright then," James said as he rose to his feet with Fred following his lead. They both hissed at Lucy as they closed the compartment doors behind them.
Lucy looked at Ollie curiously, "Why did you decide to stay? People think they're cool…"
"Yeah, people might think they're cool, but they didn't seem to be very kind to their own family. I didn't like the way they were treating you."
'I don't understand…'
It was raining heavily with raindrops that seemed to Lucy to be the size of large pebbles. She adjusted her bag and pulled the hood of her cloak over her head and pulled it as far forward as she could to try and keep her glasses dry. Ollie was standing behind her looking out at the astounding weather they would have to cross the lake in as well. Lucy mad a final check to see if her rucksack was closed and stepped out into the rain. The drops pelting against her cloak made a pleasant hollow sound after a few moments. It was cold.
"LUCY!" Molly's voice cut through the crowd making Lucy jump. Her sister came out of the group of fourth year Ravenclaws her hood pulled over her head and skidding to a halt in front of her splashing more water on her already soaked socks. "I'll take your books if you want Lucy, maybe they'll stay dry that way." Lucy had nothing but unconditional trust for her sister and could see the logic in her statement. Lucy gave Molly the books without complaint. "Alright, I'll see you at the feast. I'll save you a seat at the Ravenclaw table!" She took off with the knapsack clutched tightly in her hands.
"First Years! This way!" A loud shout got Lucy's attention a large figure waved a lantern and summoned a large group of children to him. Ollie pulled on her robe sleeve and dragged her over into the heart of the group. Lucy felt claustrophobic as she looked at her shoes so she would not have to look at the gathering crowd. "Let's see 'ere," the man's voice boomed as loud as thunder and Lucy stepped back onto a blond boy's foot. "'Ello James, Fred."
"Hi, Hagrid!" The terrible twosome replied in unison from somewhere near the front. Lucy realized that she really wanted a book to hold on to for comfort. She wanted to go back to that underground city and find that treasure.
"Alright, everyone, four to a boat now. That's it."
Lucy and Ollie climbed into a boat with two other boys who were peering at the castle ahead of them excitedly. Lucy could hardly see it through her wet glasses. The boats left the docks and set out across the lake, tossed by the waves. Lucy held on to the side of the boat fearing that she would fall off into the water and drown. She chuckled drily it was a strangely amusing idea. Her sense of humor had always been a little dark.
Suddenly, Lucy found the water far closer than it had been moments before; it was now mere inches from her face. She gasped and inhaled a mouthful of lake water and began going down…
Into the dark, watery depths of the Black Lake.
It was silent down deep, no noise or distractions. Lucy felt peaceful, more peaceful then she had the whole trip. There was a voice echoing through her mind, it was one she had never heard before, but it sounded like her mum in some ways. It was telling her to go back, back; it was not her time… What did this person know of time? Time did not exist in this watery crypt.
Something wrapped around her waist and underarms, it began to push her to the surface. Lucy felt cold as she broke the surface of the lake and was deposited in the boat where there were voices fussing and screaming over her head. She groaned and turned her face to the side of the boat. She was suddenly scooped up and found herself facing the lake again with someone patting her on the back. She vomited.
"Luce? Hey, you're alright." It was Ollie; he had a very reassuring voice. Lucy moaned in response as she felt a heavy coat draped over her thin, wet frame. Her teeth started to chatter. She did not move until the boats entered a small cave and docked and people started getting off. Lucy felt herself getting lifted out by unusually large hands.
"Alrig't there Lucy?"
"F-Fine…" Lucy murmured in response as she moved to give his coat back.
"Jus' give it back tomorrow." The gamekeeper smiled and Lucy felt the corners of her mouth twitch in response as she pulled the coat tighter around her shoulders as the group was lead into the wet muddy grass. Lucy felt her shoes slipping into the mud as she continued the walk to the wooden door ahead with the other kids. She watched James and Freddie talking and laughing up ahead despite the miserable weather. The door opened and the sight of a rather worried looking man greeted the group. He looked to be around her mum's age.
"Everyone come inside and get warmed up," The man said as he stepped back from the open door as a mob of children tried to cram themselves through it at the same time. Lucy and Ollie were not in any sort of hurry; they were already soaked through and figured that they could not possibly get any wetter. They were the last children inside. Lucy recognized the man now; he was Hannah's husband, Neville. Hagrid talked for a moment with the man before waving at the group and stepping out of the room. "Welcome everyone, a bit wet out there?" There was laughter and some glares from some of the more surly students, Lucy included. He had no right to talk, he was dry. "Yes, well, welcome to Hogwarts everyone. I am Professor Longbottom, the deputy headmaster, and your herbology instructor." He smiled widely, Lucy knew that smile, it meant one who took great pride in the work he did. "Now, in a few minutes you will step through these doors and be sorted into one of the four houses. Each house has its own noble history and has produced remarkable witches and wizards. Any questions?"
"My brother said we need to fight a troll!"
"That is not true," Professor Longbottom began to explain why fighting a troll as a first year was a bad idea. The door opened and a tiny man told the group that they were ready for them and Professor Longbottom led them out. Lucy looked up at the large expansive ceiling that reflected the rainy weather outside.
Lucy stood in the center of the group, dripping wet wearing a large furry coat over her soaking wet robes. She could not have been anymore embarrassed. The overcoat smelled like wet kneazle. She was watching in wonder, briefly forgetting her humiliation and not noticing the puddle forming under her feet. The brim of the hat had opened and a voice had burst forth in song.
When I was young and newly sown,
The school was just beginning,
Four founders there were,
Each one different from the others,
Brave and chivalrous,
Forever seeking and learning,
Ambitious and cunning,
Just and fair.
Now these four choose,
Students for their own.
Gryffindor took only the bravest,
Ravenclaw the wisest,
Slytherin the most cunning,
Hufflepuff took the rest and treated them the same.
Now things were not as peaceful as one might believe,
Strife rose amongst the four,
Over the blood-lines of the students,
Slytherin wished to take only the purest,
Gryffindor welcomed all with magic.
They fought and fought over the matter,
Until Slytherin left in disgust.
This story is true for I was there,
So remember this tale,
What can be created when differences are set aside?
When petty things get in the way?
Things will fall apart.
When the song ended, Lucy found herself clapping with the rest of the Hall while Ollie whooped next to her. The crowd quieted as the first name was called, "Armistead, Adelaide". A pretty girl with flowing brown hair stepped forward to have the hat placed on her head. The hat was silent for a few minutes before proclaiming her a Gryffindor with was met with much applause from the table.
While the others were being sorted, Lucy looked around for her sister and her cousins. It was not to difficult, most of her cousins were sitting at the same table her father's family had sat at for generations; Molly was sitting with her fellow Ravenclaws'. Molly met Lucy's eyes and smiled, moving over to pat the empty seat next to her. Molly seemed to be sure where Lucy was going to go. If only Lucy was that sure.
Soon there were only two children left. Ollie looked at her; he probably thought Lucy would have been sorted by now. Lucy thought Ollie would have been sorted by now as well. They stared at each other for a moment before Lucy's name was called. Ollie smiled and gave her a nudge forward.
Lucy sat on the stool hearing only her heartbeat in her ears and feeling the shaking in her knees then she saw nothing for the hat had just been placed over her eyes pushing her glasses down her nose.
Well now, another one? There seem to be more and more these days.
'Mother swears there's more every time she goes to one of Grandmum's family dinners.'
Ah, I remember your mother quite well, very difficult to sort, as was your father. Complicated people are always the most interesting to sort, I will occasionally hear about what they did after they left school, it's always interesting.
'I'm sure it is.' Lucy thoughts were silent for a moment, 'What made them so difficult to sort? Was Molly difficult?'
Your parents were like onions, I had to peel back many layers to make the best decision, your sister has some beliefs that make her easier to sort but enough about that. We're going to see where you will go. The hat was silent for a few moments; Lucy could feel its subtle powers wandering through her mind. Hmm, you're very intelligent, curious, very Ravenclaw. You are cunning when necessary; you are also rather ambitious though… You have true loyalty to very few people, these people seem to be relatives, but you seem to be the type who would be bored in Hufflepuff.
Gramps called Hufflepuffs' a bunch of old duffers, though Lucy questioned his sobriety at the time considering he said this in front of the Leaky Cauldron's landlady, Hannah Longbottom a former Hufflepuff and very proud of that fact.
The hat continued its musings, Ah; your grandfather would say something like that. I remember sorting him as well, interesting person even as a child.
Personally, the thought of Gramps as a child gave Lucy nightmares. It was also just weird, Lucy associated Gramps with books, swears, war stories and booze.
Oh, what do we have here? Courage, lots of courage very deep under the surface. Where will I put you? Where will you thrive? You could go to Slytherin, it would give you the notoriety you desire. You want to be different, someone admirable and respectable. Well, I assure you that you are very different from your family, no matter where you end up.
'I don't want to go to Slytherin. I'll be mocked forever!'
Then I wish you luck, it takes more courage to stand alone against injustice and evil then to stand with the majority's backing… GRYFFINDOR!
Lucy stood and gave the hat back to the professor before risking a glance to Molly who looked shocked but was clapping enthusiastically as Lucy made her way over to her house table and sat down to watch Ollie's sorting. He was bouncing up and down on the balls of his feet excitedly; he was the only one left and waved at Lucy excitedly as his name was called. "Wood, Oliver." The hat sat on his head for a solid minute before sending him to Gryffindor with Lucy. He bounded over excitedly and took the empty seat next to her smiling brightly. Lucy noticed the qudditch goggle strap was still around his head beneath his hat.
"Welcome students, new and old," Lucy looked at the high table to find a tall stern looking woman who was addressing the hall. Lucy had met the Headmistress before at one of her grandparent's parties. "As you all know, the forest is out of bounds. As some of our former students can tell you it is such for a few very good reasons." There were some nervous chuckles and titters from around the Hall. "First years will take note that Mr. Filch has asked me to once again address joke items from the shop known as Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes, if found, will be confiscated. First years are not allowed to try out for their house quidditch teams." Lucy noted Ollie's look of dogged determination as the Headmistress spoke. "I believe that is it for now so please enjoy the feast."
And all thoughts and worried left Lucy's mind in that moment the food appeared upon the table before her. Her parents were not incredibly talented cooks by any stretch of the imagination. Lucy always ate good food when she could get it.
Yes, Lucy seems slightly unlikable. I think she'll loosen up a bit, in time. James and Freddie just bring out the worst in her eleven year old developing sarcastic wit. I love this girl.
Some of you might be wondering, "Why Lucy as a lead character in an adventure story, why not a more popular character like James, Albus, or Lily?" My answer is this; everyone does a next generation story featuring one of Harry's children as the lead character, with a few exceptions. I wanted a character who was an unlikely hero(ine), one people would not expect. Lucy fit my idea perfectly and I was freed from other people's influence about how this character should be, because we really have no idea what Audrey is like. Well, I did my take on Audrey but that's another fic entirely.
Following chapters should be shorter than this one.