Ericka rolled her eyes, trudging grudgingly along with the Weasleys through the muggle portion of Kings Cross Station. It's not that she didn't like the Weasleys – she was friends with Charlie and the twins after all – but Molly Weasley was an overbearing, Dumbledore-worshiping, shrew. And she'd said as much to the aforementioned Weasleys. Including Molly. Who vehemently protested being an overbearing shrew, though all of them noticed she didn't deny worshiping Dumbledore. Molly who was also now shouting for all to hear,
"What was that platform number?"
"9 ¾ quarters!" Ginny piped up "helpfully". Ericka shot the woman a scathing look, glancing around to make sure they hadn't been heard. Unfortunately, they had. Thankfully, it looked to be a muggleborn, because the short, mangy-haired boy asked them how to get onto the platform when he reached them. At least, that's what she thought until he looked up and she saw his eyes. Those lovely green eyes so like their mothers.
"Harry." she breathed, catching the attention of her companions. Harry – and she was positive that this was her brother – narrowed his eyes suspiciously.
"How do you know my name?"
She choked out a laugh.
"I'd recognize those eyes anywhere, Prongslet." she told him hoarsely. He raised a brow.
"Prongslet?" he demanded. She chuckled, rubbing the back of her neck sheepishly.
"Yeah, that's what dad, Sirius, and Remus would call you when you were little." she told him matter-of-factly. He stared at her for a moment. Then asked the question that had been bugging the hell out of him since he'd discovered he had a sister.
"Why are you suddenly interested in having me back?"
Fred and George snorted on either side of her, ignoring her warning glare and staring at the newly, mentally dubbed Midget incredulously.
"Suddenly? Since she was seven she's spared no expense in searching for you and hiring the best lawyers in both the wizarding and muggle worlds to get you back." Fred informed Harry, who gaped at him. He turned on Ericka to demand answers. She inclined her head in acknowledgment of her friend's words. Ericka, seeing that it was nearly eleven, distracted her stunned brother by telling him how to get onto the platform. Harry looked grateful for the distraction, as he had quite a lot to think about. She smiled sadly at him, seeing this, and ushered him onto the platform before they were all late.
"He doesn't trust me at all." she groaned, hitting her head against the shoulder of Samuel Zabini, a fellow Slytherin and her best friend. Samuel put a comforting arm around her shoulders, drawing her closer.
"That's to be expected, Ricky." he pointed out practically. She sighed and snuggled into him. Daniel Pendragon, Fred and George, Cedric Diggory, and Terry Boot all smirked at them. The two had been dancing around each other for a year. Hopefully, this year, they would stop being dense and get together.
"I know, and I was expecting it, honestly. It doesn't stop it from hurting. And he's sharing a compartment with Ronald. He probably thinks I'm evil now." she moan piteously. Fred and George snickered.
"Nah," George answered, waving a hand dismissively, "We're pretty sure he's learned not to trust what Ronniekins says after what happened on the platform."
Ericka gave a sharp, bark of laughter at that, garnering a curious look from Cedric, Daniel, Terry, and a slightly jealous Samuel. She smirked at them.
"Ronald made the mistake of calling Neville weak within ear-shot of both Neville and Augusta." she said with amusement. The boys winced at that, then grinned evilly.
"What did Augusta do?" Cedric demanded. Ericka laughed.
"I swear, you boys are like gossiping women. Alright, alright –" she added at their glares, "She gave him an earful, of course. My favorite part, though, was Harry and Neville's reactions."
Terry raised a brow.
"Well? What did they do?"
She grinned wickedly at them, and the boys – including the twins, who'd been there – felt shivers go down their spines.
"Neville, in true Longbottom fashion, told him that only the weak called others weak, while the strong admitted to their own flaws first before pointing out those of others. Harry glared and said that if Ron disliked Neville for being weak, what did that mean for Harry? Harry has apparently spent the last several years being bullied – something else I need to discuss with Dumbledore – and dislikes others being degraded or made fun of. I've never been more proud in my life." she finished mildly. The boys laughed – both at her words and her tone. She laid her head on Samuel's shoulder and gestured for the others to talk about their summers. The twins began without too much prompting. She shared an amused look with Samuel, which turned into something else and had both looking away quickly, a pink tinge in their cheeks. Though, neither looked too inclined to move from their current position. They both looked up when the compartment door slid open, a blond first year with two gorillas standing on either side of him. Ericka groaned.
"What do you want?" she demanded. Malfoy sneered at her.
"I was looking for the Slytherin compartments. Apparently I opened the wrong door."
"Obviously. Besides, you're supposed to be in the first year compartments. You're not Slytherins yet, and I, personally, hope you won't be. Unfortunately, I'm unaware of any traits the three of you might possess that would enable you to go into any of the other houses. None of you are brave, you haven't worked a day in your lives, any you're quite obviously not intelligent enough to grasp subtlety." he replied waspishly, managing to say without actually saying it that they didn't belong to any House. Malfoy flushed pink.
"When my father finds out –" Ericka cut him off.
"What will your father do, Malfoy? Whine to the Minister? What can he do? Last I checked, it's not illegal to tell the truth. Now go sit with the other first years before you annoy me." she commanded dismissively. He glared at her – then turned on his heel and left, his two goons following. Ericka chuckled. Maybe this year wouldn't be so horrible after all.