A girl burst into the silent, frosty compartment breathless.
"Hi, do you mind if I sit in here? Some horrid boy is chasing me with a spider," She shuddered, her blonde hair flying all around. "I hate spiders."
A ginger girl who was peering over the top of a book nodded and smiled faintly. The other girl sighed in relief and sat next to a pale blonde boy. She smiled round at all of them. A black haired boy, chewing his lip nervously leant forward slightly.
"Did he have brown hair?" He said his voice barely above a whisper.
"Yep," replied the girl.
"And brown eyes? Quite tall?"
"Yep..." The blonde girl's eyebrows knitted together whereas the ginger girl rolled her eyes. The black haired boy leaned back into his seat.
"That's my brother. Sorry about him." He sounded exquisitely embarrassed. The blonde girl's smiled slipped for a moment before she preserved on, oblivious to the awkward settling silence.
"Oh. Well I'm Poppy Copper. It's nice to meet you."
A silence pooled over in the compartment as the ginger girl and the black haired boy hesitated not wanting to give their names. The ginger girl sighed.
"I'm Rose Weasley."
"I'm Albus Potter. Call me Al."
"Great." Poppy turned to the blonde boy next to her. If she hadn't, if she had copied Rose and Al and studiously ignored him then they would have all gone their separate ways. But she did. "What's your name?"
The blonde boy started. He seemed have expected the silent treatment. "Oh...err...Scorpius...Malfoy. Call me Scorp." He sounded ashamed of his own name and Poppy smiled kindly at him thinking he was just nervous about starting school. She beamed at them all, proud of her new friends. Her smile faltered as she noticed their reactions to her lack of reaction to their names.
"Is something wrong?" Poppy looked down at her new robes thinking something was on there.
"I don't mean this badly...honestly we don't care either way...but are you muggle born?" Al asked tentatively.
"What? Oh yeah. Is it really obvious?" An expression of anxious panic crossed over Poppy's face. "The professor who came to see me said it wouldn't be obvious and I did read some stuff, I just thought...I knew I should've read some more,"
Al felt awful at seeing the unusually kind girl worry so much but he didn't know what to say that would help. He turned to Rose who looked equally helpless.
"No, what Albus meant was that he didn't recognise your surname. Most wizard families know each other and we didn't know you." Scorp spoke quietly from the corner.
Al latched onto this reason. "Yeah! Anyway being a muggle born doesn't mean you're bad at magic."
"My mum is a muggle born and she was the cleverest in her year." Rose added knowledgably.
"Nowadays no one cares about blood status." Scorp smiled shyly at Poppy who smiled back.
"Really?" Rose challenged loudly. Scorp turned calmly towards her.
"I've never had a problem with blood status so I assume you're talking about my father. And yes, he's changed."
Rose flushed and Al glared pointedly at her.
"So...do you like quidditch?" If Al had not bothered to ask that question in an attempt to apologise their lives would be incredibly different. But he did.
As the boys launched enthusiastically into their conversation, Rose hid behind her book again and Poppy watched wide eyed as the magical world came to life around her.
"So we have to go on the boats?"
"Yes but don't worry statistically you're more likely to get struck by lightning twice than fall out." Rose said reassuringly. Over the journey Poppy had got used to Rose's habit of relaying information she had read and decided she liked her a lot. "Anyway Hagrid will make sure you're safe." She added confidently.
The girls had exited the train together and had managed to lose the boys on the packed platform. Poppy gazed at the vast numbers of trunks, owls, cats, broomsticks, robes and wands that twirled around her.
"You know, it's nice being muggle born."
"Well this all looks ten times as amazing to me."
Rose laughed and then grabbed her arm as a burly sixth year nearly separated them. She yanked her over to a huge man that grinned toothily down at Rose.
"Yeh look jus' like yer mum, yeh do. 'Cept yer hair of course. Where's yer cousin?"
"I don't know...He better be here soon though." Roe sounded anxious. "Oh Hagrid this is Poppy. She's my friend."
Poppy beamed at the word.
"I'm quite worried about what house I'm going to be in."
They girls were crossing the black lake and Rose spoke so quietly that Poppy almost didn't hear her.
"It doesn't matter though, does it?"
"It does to my dad." Rose looked down at her shoes. "Let's just hope I'm not in Slytherin."
"What's so bad about Slytherin?" Poppy asked seriously.
"All bad wizards come from there," Rose answered shrugging her shoulders. They both paused to gaze in awe at the huge castle that emerged from the darkness.
"But I bet not all Slytherins are bad wizards." Poppy said softly.
"Great song, eh?" Al murmured to Scorp after the hat had sung. Scorp chuckled nervously. Both boys were suddenly feeling the pressure as they stepped into the beautiful great hall under the scrutiny of everyone. Why, they both wondered, did they have to look so much like their fathers?
"You know what would be funny? If you got into Slytherin and I got into Gryffindor." Scorp whispered back as the A's started to get sorted.
"It would be nice to stand out."
"What, you don't already?" said Scorp but not unkindly.
Albus Potter decided he liked Scorpius Malfoy.