The Hogwarts Express gleamed brilliantly in the distance, steam drifting from it sides on to the platform which Mummies and Daddies gathered around their children, bidding them good-bye and making a big fuss over whether they had forgotten something. A good portion of the children were eleven year olds who were about to embark on their first trip to Hogwarts and among the crowd of anxious first years was a small girl, observing with a wide, apprehensive gaze, the wonderous chaos that commenced about her.
She was small compared to her brother, but like him, she shared the same long mess of curls which was such a deep brown that it made their brightly colored eyes appear to glow. Unlike the kids who were accustomed to the wizarding world, this pair seemed fairly out of place, from his converse to his Rolling Stones t-shirt and her stockings to her dark green collard dress. One would think they were ordinary muggles, yet there they were, standing amongst the hustle and bustle of platform 9 3/4.
Her green eyes darted around nervously as she tightened her grip on her brother's arm, unsure of how to feel about all of the commotion. "Jude?" she said, tugging on his sleeve. "Jude, what happens if I don't get sorted into Gryffindor?"
The thought of being separated from her brother had been eating at her ever since she'd received her letter in early june. Ever since their mother had died and life having separated them from their father, her brother had been her sole source of comfort. Not to say that she wasn't independent, but it certainly made things easier to cope with, having him near. After all, he was the only thing that was truly constant in her life.
Taking her small hands in his, he looked down upon his little sister, a knowing grin tugging at his lips. His deep blue eyes glistened with a playful sort of delight. "Beatrice, just because I'm in Gryffindor doesn't mean you have to be in it too." he assured her, offering her a gentle smile. "It doesn't matter what house you're sorted into. Were you hoping for Gryffindor?"
Beatrice nodded, her eyes directed at her shoes. "You're in Gryffindor and so was Mummy."
He smiled knowingly. Placing a hand on her shoulder, he urged her to look at him. "Let me tell you a secret," he said, giving her hand an encouraging squeeze. "The sorting hat considers what is best for you, but the it also considers what you want. So, if your heart is set on Gryffindor, then odds are you'll be put in Gryffindor."
A bit of Beatrice's nerves lifted after Jude said this, but a small knot still remained in her stomach. She figured it was most likely because she had yet to make any friends and she would soon be on her own. As custom, first years sat in a separate car from the upperclassman because of the sorting ceremony immediately following their arrival. Still, with so much uncertainty mulling about in her mind, she wasn't entirely sure what to make of her nerves.
Jude walked her to the first year car. He nearly seemed as nervous, if not more nervous than Beatrice, after all, she was his baby sister. Ever since there father had been taken away, he'd taken the responsiblity of her well-being upon himself, which only seemed to make this situation more difficult for the pair of them. "You need anything else? Because if you're taken care of now I was going to go find Cedric..." he said, his teenage instincts beginning to counteract the fatherly.
Cedric Diggory was one of the few people Beatrice knew went to Hogwarts other than Jude. He and Jude were friends since they met in their first year three yeas ago, when Jude wasn't at Cedric's house Cedric was at Jude's etc. "I'm fine, go on ahead." she assured him, "and tell Cedric I said hello when you find him."
"He's sure to be surprised when I tell him you're finally a first year, I can hardly believe it myself." He smiled, ruffling her hair good-naturedly. Jude could have stood there for ages longer, but he was cut short by the whistle. "Well, I best be going. Good luck, Bea. Just remember not to be nervous and you'll be fine."
Beatrice nodded and waved good bye to him as he retreated to the cars with the older kids, his frame disappearing from behind the white seam that leaked onto the platform. She sighed, looking up at the doorway of the first year car uncertainly. This was it, Jude wasn't there anymore for her to shy behind. She nervously held her breath as she boarded the first year car and began searching for open compartments.
Some kids seemed to already have groups of friends and were chatting merrily in compartments filled to the brim with people, others held a fewer people, but not the sort Beatrice felt comfortable sitting with the entire way to Hogwarts. Mentally, she repremanded herself for being so shy and unsociable, things would've been much easier if she would just talk to people! Eventually, however, she came across a compartment with only two boys inside. They seemed to be nice and she was already too close to the end of the car, so Beatrice hadn't many more options.
Deciding that they were probably her best and safest option, she reluctantly slid the compartment door open. The boys stared at her as she poked her head inside which made her feel even more uneasy and awkward than she already was.
Smiling clumsily, she cleared her voice, though it came out small nonetheless. "Urm, I was wondering if you would mind if I sat with you. Everywhere else is pretty much full." she squeaked, looking between the pair hopefully. They seemed like a pleasant pair, the red haired boy grinned at her cheerily, his face was faintly decorated with a small assortment of freckles, he wore what looked to be very out-worn clothing, probably handed down to several others before him, but despite this he appeared to be one of the happiest fellow's she'd ever met. The other boy, also dressed in rather old clothing that seemed several sizes too big for his small frame, eyed her curiously from behind his round specticals which were held together with several layers of scotch tape. His shaggy jet black hair jetted out in odd directions, and though on most it would appear a hideous mess, she decided the chaotic mop-top rather suited him.
"Sure." said the red headed boy with a merry grin. "My name's Ron Weasley, and yours is?"
"Beatrice Mitchell." she replied with more ease than before as she took her seat across from them. "You have older brothers, don't you? I think my brother knows them."
Ron nodded proudly. "Yes, I have five, but only three of them are still in school." he explained. "There's Percy, he's a fifth year, and then there's Fred and George, they're third years."
"Oh yes, my brother Jude is a fourth year. He says your brothers pull excellent pranks and that they're brilliant Beaters."
"Jude Mitchell? He's your brother?!" the boy who'd just introduced himself as 'Ron Weasley' presently exclaimed. "Fred and George talk about him all the time! Brilliant Chaser, he is. Do you plan on trying out for Quidditch next year? With a brother like that I'm sure the talent runs in your family."
"I haven't given it much thought, honestly." she admitted, "I suppose that I might, when I get older. Jude talks about Fred and George quite a bit as well, though I mostly hear about Cedric more than anyone, he's Jude's best friend. I don't know if you know him as well..."
"Cedric Diggory? The Seeker for Hufflepuff?"
She nodded. "When he comes over, Jude and Ced will head straight outside to practice. I don't know if they talk much about anything other than Quidditch..." she paused upon noticing the other boy's confusion. "What about you?" she said quickly, her cheeks turning pink with embarressment from her rudeness, "I'm sorry, I don't believe I got your name."
Stretching out his thin, pale hand to her, he smiled happily. "My name's Harry, Harry Potter."
Beatrice blinked at him. "You mean...you're, him? Great Scott..."
She made a motion with her hand in front of her forehead in a bad attempt of mimicking the shape of his famous scar in the air. Harry laughed and moved his shaggy black hair out of the way. Sure enough, beneath the thick locks was a lightning bolt shaped scar in the middle of his forehead. "Wicked..." she muttered in utter disbelief.
Again, he laughed. "It's just a scar." he said with a curt shrug. "What is Quidditch by the way?"
Ron gaped at him, "You don't know what Quidditch is?!"
"Give him a break, not everyone grew up around Quidditch." said Beatrice, "Quidditch is a sport, it's kind of hard to explain but there will be plenty of matches this year to watch and Ron and I can explain to you what's happening. You're going to love it, it's like the wizarding world's version of football, everybody wants to play it and everyone loves going to games."
Ron cocked his head. "What's football?"
"Muggle sport." Beatrice provided, "Jude used to play before he got accepted into Hogwarts."
"So you're a muggleborn then?" asked Ron, cocking his head curiously.
Beatrice shook her head. "Half-blood, but I guess we, Jude and I, could technically be muggleborn because we were raised outside of the wizarding world. I didn't know anything about it until Jude got his letter."
"I'm a pureblood," said Ron, "Not that it matters."
Beatrice nodded absent mindedly as she took a book out from her backpack, Hogwarts, a History. Ron's eyes fell on the cover, upon reading the title, he promptly voiced the first thought that popped into his mind, as he had a habit of doing. "Have you tried any spells yet?"
She shook her head, closing the book and setting it in her lap, saving her spot with her index finger. "Though I've read just about all the books on the list I haven't acutually been able to try anything yet."
"My brother George gave me a spell to turn Scabbers yellow," he said, pointing to the rather fat rat sniffing the empty Bertie Bott's every flavor beans box on his leg. "Want to see?"
Beatrice and Harry nodded anxiously, leaning forward in their seats.
"Alright," he said with a grin. "Sulight, daisies-" He opened his mouth to continue when the compartment door slid open once again. Poking her bushy head inside to the compartment, scanned it quickly, then when certain that whatever she was looking for wasn't in there she turned her attention to the compartment's only contents: Harry, Ron, and Beatrice.
"Have you seen a toad?" she asked impatiently, "A boy named Neville has lost one."
They shook their heads saying that they had not seen the toad. She turned to leave when her sharp brown eyes caught sight of Ron's wand, still held aloft in his hand, mid-swish. "Oh," said she, her eyes still locked on Ron's wand, "Were you doing magic? Let's see then."
Ron rolled his eyes, ignorning her completely as she sat beside him, and resumed with the spell. "Sunlight, daises, bottom-a-low, turn this stupid, fat rat yellow!"
There was a flash of bright white light and a faint CRACK sound, then the box of Bertie Bott's every flavor beans box flew off the rat's head, but other than that, nothing else happened and Scabbers certainly did not turn yellow, but continued to investigate all the goodies that Ron had left scattered about his seat after his initial shock had surpassed.
"It's not very good is it?" said the girl, straightening, as if she knew that his spell was bound to be a failure. "Of course, I've tried a few spells myself, by they've all worked for me. Here, let me show you." she took a seat beside Beatrice and pointed her wand at Harry, his eyes widening, eyeing her wand uncertainly. "For example," she said authoritatively, "Oculous Repario."
There was a faint SNAP then the tape on Harry's glasses disappered and his glasses were fixed, as if brand new. Harry removed his glasses and examined them, looking to Beatrice as if for an explanation which she could not provide.
"Holy Cricket..." the girl gasped in realization, "You're Harry Potter!" she determined, "I'm Hermione Granger," she turned to Beatrice and Ron, a disgusted look coming to her face when she looked from one to the other. Ron was scarffing down sweets, not bothering to quiet his smacking. Beatrice could understand how Hermione could have been disgusted, it wasn't a pretty sight. "And you two are."
"Beatrice Mitchell." she replied, offering her her hand, which she readily accepted. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Hermione." Hermione smiled and said the same.
"Uh, Ron Weasley," managed Ron between bites.
"Pleasure...anyways, you all better get changed into your robes, I expect we'll be arriving soon." she stood up to leave, but stopped at the door and turned to Ron. "You've got dirt on your nose, did you know?" She motioned to the right side of his nose. "Just there."
Nervously, Beatrice clinched her fists. Her eyes darted about curiously, drinking in every detail of her surroundings. She was enraptured by the ceiling, which was betwitched to mimick the night sky. Amazed, she marveled at the twinkling stars above her, which were further illuminated by the candles which hovered gracefully above them, burning merrily, but at the same time, seemed not to melt in the slightest. Her eyes then moved to the spectators who met her eyes curiously, some were very young, not much older than herself, others seemed to be on the threshhold of adulthood. Though she searched among them, she could not find a familiar face. Eventually, she gave up her endeavor, she focused her attention purely upon following the rest of the children to the front of the hall, the best attempt she'd had so far to surpress her emotions.
The moment had arrived that she dreaded the most...the sorting ceremony. She couldn't bear to think what would happen if she didn't get sorted into Gryffindor, or, more specifically, if she was separated from Jude. Without realizing it, she held her breathe, releasing it only once she stopped at the front of the room. Once more, she turned to scan the onlookers in a final attempt to locate her brother. She knew she would feel better once she saw him, just as a reassurance. Her heart lurched with joy when her eyes at last found him. He sat with other three boys at the Gryffindor table, all with bright red hair, who she assumed to be Ron's older brothers. When she caught his eyes, he waved to her, smiling encouragingly.
Having been satisfied, she turned back to the front and watched as Professor McGonagall pulled out a wooden stool and placed and old, ragged, brown hat upon it. Without warning, the seams of the old, battered hat ripped open and what seemed like eyes and a mouth appeared, shaped with the folds of the hat. No sooner did the mouth appear did the hat begin to speak:
"Oh, you may not think I'm pretty, but don't judge what you see, I'll eat myself if you can find a smarter hat than me. You can keep your bowler hats black, and top hats sleek and tall, for I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat and I can cap them all. There's nothing hidden in your head the Sorting Hat can't see, so try me on and I will tell you where you ought to be. You might belong in Gryffindor where dwell the brave at heart, their daring, nerve and chivarly set Gryffindors apart; You might belong in Hufflepuff where they are just and loyal, those patient Hufflepuffs are true and unafraid of toil; Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw, if you've a ready mind, where those of wit and learning will always find their kind; Or perhaps in Slytherin where you will meet your real friends, those cunning folk use any means to achieve their ends. So put me on! Don't be afraid! And Don't get in a flap! You're in safe hands, (though I have none) for I'm a thinking cap!"
One by one the first years were sorted into their houses. Hermione, Ron, and Harry already sat at the Gryffindor table, talking merrily with Ron's brothers and Jude which just made her want to be in Gryffindor more. Now, if she was placed in a different house, not only would she be separated from her brother, but now all the friends she'd made were there too! Anxiously, she awaited her turn, and before she knew it Professor McGonagall called her name.
Previously, she had thought her nerves had been subsiding, but when she took her seat upon the wooden school and faced the entire student body she felt all of them flood back to her. She tensed, sensing every eye was upon her, the world seeming to have halted for a several long, excruciating seconds. She was so distracted by the crowd, in fact, that she jumped slightly when the sorting hat spoke into her ear for only her to hear. "It's apparent what you want...but is that best for you? You have brains to be in Ravenclaw and loyalty to be in Hufflepuff...Surely you'd find the success and security that you crave in either of those houses, no?"
"I've never wanted anything more." she whispered.
"Ah...determined are we?" it considered, pursing its seams. "Daring...I suppose I should place you in...GRYFFINDOR!" the last word yelled for all to hear.
Beatrice smiled broadly as she skipped off the stage and to the Gryffindor table. Jude patted her on the back as she took a seat next to him. "See? Now what'd I tell you?" he said with a bright smile. "There was nothing to be nervous about!"
"So this is the Beatrice you speak so much about." said one of the Weasley boys, leaning over the table to make eye contact with her. "And believe me, I do mean a LOT, just on and on and -"
Beatrice giggled. "I hope they were good things..."
"They were," Jude assured her, with another brilliant smile. "This is Fred by the way, Fred Weasley and the champ beside him is my mate George..." The boys looked exactly alike, right down to their obnoxious grin which they currently flashed at her. Beatrice couldn't imagine how she was ever going to tell them apart. Upon noticing his sister's confounded expression, Jude chuckled. "I know it's confusing at first but you'll get used to it."
"It's amazing that such a pretty little girl like you could come from the same parents as this ugly bloke." said Fred, ruffling Jude's hair, teasingly.
"Hey," he shoved him in the shoulder, with a good-natured chuckle. "Anyways," he continued, "This is their older brother, Percy."
Percy held out his hand promptly which Beatrice reluctantly accepted. "I'm also a Gryffindor house Prefect." he added, pointing to the small gold pin on his robes. It made sense Percy was a prefect, he was the picture of conformity from the tidiness of his red curls, which he had styled neatly, without so much as a hair out of place, to his well-rehearsed demeanor, much unlike the other two Weasley brothers she'd just been introduced to.
"And then there's-"
"Ron," she finished for him, meeting the youngest Weasley boy's eyes as they shared a grin. "We met on the train already." she explained.
"Aww, Ickle Ronniekins is making friends!" George teased, earned a very pointed stare from both Ron and Beatrice, which George either chose to ignore or was completely oblivious to.
"Shut it, George." muttered Ron with a disgruntled sneer.
"Now, now Ronniekins," said Fred wagging a finger at him, "You best learn to respect your elders."
"Elders? Your only two years older!" he protested.
"No talking back, Ronnie." said George, clicking his tongue disapprovingly.
Percy rolled his eyes at his brothers. "You two are so immature." he declared.
"I'm sorry not all of us can be 'Perfect Percy'."
"Whatever," he said, rolling his eyes, "I have to take the first years to the dormitory, if you'll excuse me." He stood sharply and walked to the end of the table to begin calling the first years to follow him.
"I guess I have to go then." said Beatrice to her brother.
He nodded, taking her hand and giving it a comforting squeeze. "Go on ahead, I'll meet you in the common room."
Beatrice felt so small walking through the halls. The ceiling was so high that she could scarcely see it. Portraits hung upon every wall and covered nearly every inch of stone and plaster that there was. As they passed, each potrait smiled and waved, each taking time to greet the new students, which Beatrice was quick to return the favor. Words could hardly explain what was going through her mind. It was almost as if she was in the best dream she ever had and she was scared she would wake up at some point.
She was so busy drinking in every detail of the castle that she nearly ran into Neville when they stopped in front of a portrait of a woman in pink, frilly 17th century clothing, her dark brown hair was curled and styled intricatly to frame her frace. She raised her chin questioningly, as if sizing them up. Her thin red-tinted lips pursed suspiciously as her deep, brown eyes turned to Percy, the one familiar face in the large crowd that stood before her. "Password?"
"Caput Draconis." replied Percy, authoritatively.
The woman nodded and slowly the portrait creaked open, revealing a doorway behind it leading to the Gryffindor common room. "This is the Gryffindor common room," he explained, gesturing to the room. "Your dorm rooms will be up the stairs and to your left for the boys, and girls, the same on your right. In your room you will find your belongings have already been brought up."
The common room was warm and inviting. A fire crackled merrily in the hearth, warming large room an illuminating tthe scarlet furnishings with scarlet room. The walls were covered with red and gold tapestries that looked about as old as the castle itself. Overall it gave off a homey sort of feel, somewhere which she immediately felt comfort and security. "You can go on to your rooms if you like."
Beatrice decided to wait for Jude before retreating off to bed. It wasn't too much longer before he walked through the porthole with Fred an George. "I thought you weren't coming...I've been waiting for ages!" she said sarcasticly, placing her small hands on her hips, a smirk playing on her lips.
Jude chuckled and nudged her shoulder. "You didn't have to wait for me," he argued, playing into her act, he paused, however, pushing aside the humor and giving her a deinitive look, he took a seat in one of the fat, scarlet armchairs. "Humor aside, it's getting late, you ought to be in bed, we start class tomorrow."
"And what else does daddy's little girl need to do?" said Fred, slumping back in an arm chair across from him. "So much for freedom and independence, eh Beatrice?" he said with a grin. "Looks to me like you still have a father trailing after you!"
Beatrice frowned. Based on their behavior so far Beatrice didn't particularly fancy Fred and George Weasley. They came across as arrogant and immature, not to mention she hated how they kept teasing her and Jude about how Jude looked out for her. Jude was just trying to be a good brother, there was nothing wrong with that. They didn't understand why Jude was so protective over her, so what right did they have to make fun of them for it? If they only knew.