Title: A Tale of Trouble
Summary: On her eleventh birthday, Molly Hooper discovered the Wizarding World. Little did she know the joy, sadness, and, above all, chaos that it would bring
Fandoms: Harry Potter and Sherlock (Potterlock)
Disclaimer: I don't own anything, as ever
Yet again, here I am with a new story idea. *Sigh*
Title, as ever, sucks. Will probably be changing, but I can't have another 'Untitled', can I?
I'm not sure how this is gonna go. I will at least have a few first year chapters before I skip on, but I will be skipping on. The most interesting things are gonna happen in fifth, sixth and seventh year.
Thanks to Sinead (sinead-writes-things) for the flail-y talks over Viber.
Edit: I have realised that there is no way Molly Prewett could be a prefect in the Marauders' first year, so I replaced her with an OC
September first, 1971
On the morning of September the first, Platform Nine and Three Quarters was understandably busy. The second through seventh years took it in their stride, bidding their parents goodbye and rushing off to find their friends and a compartment.
The first years were a mixture of reactions. Those who had older siblings at Hogwarts and therefore had been on the platform before were largely disinterested, but of course excited to be starting the school they had heard so much about.
For the other first years, there was nothing but awe. They stared at the scene before them; the students and their parents wandering around, the scarlet train spread out like a snake.
On the other side of the barrier, Molly Hooper fiddled with the hem of her sweater, glancing over her shoulder at her parents and two brothers.
"I don't know what to do," she admitted.
Gavin, who was her brother, older by two years, approached her, putting an arm around her shoulders in a comforting gesture.
"From the stuff that bloke was telling us—" (here he referred to the man from the Ministry of Magic who had come to explain to them that Molly was a witch.) "—it's probably hidden. Like that Alley. You might have to do some magic to get in."
Molly glanced up at him, worry pooling in her stomach. "I don't know any spells." She had flicked through her Standard Book of Spells, Grade One, yes, but she'd never tried any of them.
"Hang on," said Gavin. "See those two boys?"
Molly looked. Two tall boys – one with darker hair than the other, but with the look of brothers – approached. Both were pushing trolleys, and both had trunks that looked suspiciously like hers.
"They look like wizards, don't they?"
"They do. Thanks, Gav," she smiled, standing on her tiptoes to hug him. She stepped away from her brother, and caught the boys' attention with an, "Excuse me?" that sounded much more timid than she expected.
The light-haired brother pretended not to have noticed her, and she felt a sinking feeling. But the boy with the dark curls turned to look at her.
"Yes?" he asked.
"Are – do you go to Hogwarts?"
He looked her over with sharp, crystal blue eyes and cast a glance back at her family.
"Muggleborn?" he asked. His voice was not unkind, but not friendly either. Somehow, his question seemed more like a statement.
Molly answered anyway, her voice sounding stronger now. "Yes. Could you tell me how to get to Platform Nine and Three Quarters, please?"
He nodded, turning to stand beside her. "You just walk straight ahead, through the barrier. Watch Mycroft."
The other boy – Mycroft – shot his brother a scathing look before steering his trolley towards the barrier between platforms nine and ten. He glanced around conspicuously, before striding purposefully towards the barrier and disappearing.
"Can you do it?" the curly-haired boy asked, sounding slightly more kind, though it was hard to tell.
"I think so. Thank you," she replied, turning back to her family. She accepted a kiss from her mother, and hugged her father and brothers – Gavin for the second time.
"I'll write," she promised, smiling at her family before focusing her attention on her trolley. She fiddled with the catch on the basket of her new tabby cat, Toby, making sure that it was closed, and pushed the trolley towards the barrier.
She held her gaze up until the moment of impact, when she squeezed them tightly shut. When the voices of hundreds of excited voices chattering, she opened them again, and stared in awe at her surroundings.
Walking slowly towards the train – lest she block the boy's way – she took in the sight. Students milling around, some in the long, black robes that were the uniform, greeting friends and telling tales of their summers.
The Hogwarts express gleamed red, obscured slightly by smoke. Molly strode towards this, puzzling over in her mind how she would get her heavy trunk on board.
She was saved from this situation by two children who looked around her own age – a girl with long, straight red hair and the boy with short, blonde locks – who appeared with their own trolleys and trunks.
"Want some help with that?" the redhead offered, gesturing towards the trunk.
"If you don't mind," Molly replied politely.
"'Course I don't mind," the girl grinned. "I wouldn't have offered otherwise, would I? Oi, John! Get over here and help us."
She addressed the boy, who had wandered off to look at another student's pet owl.
"I'm Harriet Watson, by the way," the girl continued, as she and Molly lifted the trunk. The boy returned to help them.
"This is my twin brother, John," she continued, as they set the trunk on the floor of the train. "It's our first year here. Is it yours?"
Molly nodded, helping the twins to load their trunks as well.
"D'you know what house you'll be in?" asked John.
"No, I don't really know that much about Hogwarts …"
"Are you Muggleborn?" asked Harriet, as they lugged their trunks behind them in search of a compartment.
"Yes, I'm the only witch in my family."
Harriet carried the large cage of a Barn Owl, and Molly Toby's cage, so John opened the door of the compartment, once they'd found an empty one.
"Our mother's a Muggle," said Harriet. "So I suppose I'm the only witch in our family, too. Our Dad was a Gryffindor."
"You should see the stuff he has at home," John rolled his eyes. "Very proud of his house, he is."
"Do you know what house you want to be in?" Molly asked.
"Gryffindor," said the twins in unison.
"Dad does harp on about it," Harriet smiled in explanation.
"What do your parents do?" asked Molly, curling up in her seat, feeling comfortable with the Watson twins.
"Mum works in a Muggle shop, and Dad works for the Daily Prophet."
"Mum's a manager, Dad's an editor," John added.
"Well that's what I said."
Molly smiled as the twins bickered, leaning her head against the seat as the train began to move.
Several hours later, it had grown dark, and the train was ever closer to their destination. The three eleven-year-olds had bought themselves a selection of food from the trolley that had passed through their compartment, and Molly and John had changed into their Hogwarts robes.
They would be taking boats across the lake of Hogwarts, so John had informed her. The older students travelled up to the castle in what the twins described as "magic carriages" (meaning that they were not drawn by anything visible.)
She felt her excitement building as the train sped on.
"Nervous?" John questioned, sitting down next to her (Harriet had gone to the bathroom to change into her robes).
"I think so," Molly replied, glancing towards the window. She couldn't see anything in the darkness, save for the lights of towns they passed
"I think you'd make a good Gryffindor, if that helps."
She beamed. "It does, thanks."
"Well, it doesn't really make much difference what house you're in," he was quick to add. "Harriet says—"
As if summoned by her name, the female Watson twin appeared with a flash of red hair and a demanded, "What are you saying about me?"
"Harriet says," John repeated, shooting a look at his sister, "that I'll probably be a Hufflepuff."
"Gryffindor or Hufflepuff," she shrugged, biting the head off a saved Chocolate Frog.
"Gryffindor or Gryffindor," she replied, mouth full of chocolate. Molly smiled.
A message informing them that they would be arriving at Hogsmeade station momentarily sounded.
"This is it," Harriet announced, grinning. "Ready, Hooper?"
She nodded, feeling a little light-headed. She checked on Toby (he, along with her trunk, would be taken up to the castle for her), before heading towards the door.
"What's your cat called?" asked Harriet interestedly, sliding the compartment door open as the train slowed to a stop.
"Toby," Molly replied. "Your owl?"
"Sadie," John informed her.
"We have to share her," Harriet continued. "Our parents aren't loaded, you know. But you're welcome to borrow her any time."
"Thanks," Molly beamed.
The trio joined the crowds of students disembarking from the train. A call of "Firs' years! This way!" reached their ears. They set off towards it. Molly almost jumped out of her skin when she caught sight of a larger-than-life man standing there with a lantern, waving a huge hand and calling again for first years.
"Who's that?" she hissed to Harriet.
"Hagrid," she answered dismissively. "He's the Groundskeeper at Hogwarts."
"Don't worry, he's very nice," John added. "Our Dad knew him. We've met him before."
"He's just big," Harriet shrugged, clearly used to the man.
"Okay," Molly murmured, slightly ashamed of her fear. She was sure to smile up at Hagrid.
"Hello John! Harriet! Made a friend, have you? Who's this?"
"Molly Hooper," she replied. "It's nice to meet you."
"Muggleborn, are yeh?"
He smiled. "I hope yeh three'll visit me. You too, James!" he added to a dark haired boy with glasses, who had recently joined the group of first years.
"Of course I'll come and see you, Hagrid," the boy called James grinned.
"All righ', is that everyone?"
"I think so …" the first years cast glances over their shoulders, searching for other students their age.
"Let's go, then."
They followed dutifully after the Gamekeeper, chatting amongst themselves. James and another dark-haired boy were chattering the loudest of the group.
"Wait 'till you see the castle," Hagrid said, sounding almost more excited than them. "It's just around the corner here …"
There were collective sounds of awe: 'ooh's and 'aah's and gasps.
"It's beautiful," Molly murmured reverently.
"We get to live in a castle for seven years," John smiled.
"Like a fairytale," Harriet deadpanned. Molly laughed.
"No more'n four to a boat!" Hagrid called to them, as they reached the bank of a vast, dark, lake. Molly, John and Harriet clambered into one of them, and were joined by a thin, pale boy, in second-hand robes and with recently-cut brown hair, lighter than Molly's own.
"Hi," Molly smiled encouragingly at him. "I'm Molly Hooper."
"Remus Lupin," he replied, giving a half-hearted smile.
"These are the Watson twins," Molly added. Harriet gave a little wave. "John and Harriet."
"Pleased to meet you," Remus smiled (genuinely, this time).
"Are you excited?" asked John.
Remus nodded. "Yes, very. I never thought I'd get here."
"I didn't even know here existed 'till not too long ago."
"You're Muggleborn?" (Molly nodded). "My Mum's a Muggle."
"Like us!" Harriet exclaimed.
They chattered excitedly throughout the remainder of the boat ride, obeying Hagrid's instructions (to duck as they passed a dangerously low cliff) as they did so.
When the boats bumped against the bank of the lake, they all clambered out and followed Hagrid towards the castle. He rapped heavily on the huge oaken doors when he reached it, and it was opened by a tall woman in emerald green robes, her greying hair pulled into a tight bun, and a stern expression behind a pair of spectacles.
"The firs' years, Professor McGonagall," said Hagrid. Molly knew the name. It had been this witch who had signed her Hogwarts acceptance letter; the Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts.
"Thank you, Hagrid," said McGonagall. She then turned her attention to the first years. "Please follow me."
They obeyed, walking through the large, empty hall. Molly's gaze travelled up the great marble staircase, the by now familiar feeling of awe rushing through her once again.
"Welcome to Hogwarts," said McGonagall, beginning what was obviously a speech, presumably told to the first years every year. "In a few short moments, you will be sorted into your houses, and you will then join them. The houses are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. While you are here, your house will be like your family. You will form lifelong friendships within your house, and indeed, your school. Good behaviour will be rewarded with house points. Misdemeanours will lose you points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points will win the house cup. Understood?"
There was a rather nervous chorus of, "Yes, Professor."
"Good," said McGonagall, and she might have smiled – it was hard to tell. "Please wait here."
She disappeared through another set of impressive doors.
"McGonagall," said Harriet. "Our Dad knows her. Calls her 'Minnie' sometimes."
John chuckled. "She hates it."
"She's the head of Gryffindor, right?" asked Remus Lupin. The twins nodded in response.
Professor McGonagall returned a moment later, ordering them to follow her. Molly fell into step beside Remus, behind the Watsons. She kept her gaze fixed determinedly on John's head, avoiding the gazes of the students watching her from their house tables.
They stopped, and waited patiently – for what, Molly did not know. All of a sudden, she heard a burst of song. She jumped, glancing over Harriet's shoulder to locate the source of the music.
It was an old, ragged, patched hat, singing loudly about the houses of Hogwarts from where it sat upon a three-legged stool. She stared at it, bewildered.
"The Sorting Hat," Remus explained in an undertone, obviously noticing her confusion. "It's enchanted so that it can figure out what house you belong in. And sing loudly, apparently."
"Thanks," Molly whispered.
The song ended, and everyone applauded. Then, McGonagall unfurled a scroll of paper, announcing the name, "Avery, Lucas."
A short boy with thick shoulders walked towards the stool, and had the hat placed on his head. After a few seconds, it announced, "SLYTHERIN!"
The crowd applauded, and he walked towards the table that obviously belonged to the Slytherins, sitting down.
"Black, Narcissa," McGonagall called next.
A tall, haughty girl, with long hair spilling down her back, emerged from the crowd, and sat on the stool. McGonagall placed the hat on her head.
"SLYTHERIN!" it announced, after half a moment's deliberation. She walked towards the Slytherin table, sitting next to a girl with dark curls.
A boy with long dark hair – much like the girl Narcissa Black had sat with, and most likely a relative – approached the hat rather grimly. The hat took longer to decide this time.
No one from the Slytherin table clapped at all, as Sirius walked towards the Gryffindor table. The boy Molly remembered as James slapped him on the back as he walked past.
So it continued. Melanie Clearwater became a Hufflepuff, Emma Dearborn a Ravenclaw, and Lily Evans a Gryffindor.
A girl with a round face and curly brown-blonde hair walked up to the Sorting Stool, looking terrified. She joined Lily Evans and Sirius Black at the Gryffindor table.
The curly-haired boy, who had helped Molly to find platform nine and three quarters, became a Ravenclaw.
"Good luck," Harriet smiled at her as she made her way towards the stool.
She perched uncertainly on the edge of the three-legged stool, and Professor McGonagall placed the battered hat on her head. It fell past her eyes, so that she could see nothing. A voice began to mutter in her head.
"A Muggleborn, eh? There's quite a few of you this year ... hmm … loyalty, yes. Not bad intelligence … some cunning. But bravery, yes."
"I'm not brave," she whispered, certainly not feeling it.
"Of course you are, my dear child. You just haven't realised it yet. GRYFFINDOR!"
The hat was pulled from over her eyes, and she felt dazed. The Watson twins were beaming. Applause ringing in her ears, she made her way over to the Gryffindor table, sitting across from Alice Fawley.
Frank Longbottom was the next Gryffindor, after Gregory Lestrade became a Hufflepuff.
Molly turned her attention to the kind boy who had talked to her. After two minutes, he became a Gryffindor. Molly waved for him to sit with her, and he did so.
Mary McDonald also joined their table, sitting a little further down beside a third year.
Paul McKinnon, James Moriarty and Mary Morstan were sorted into Ravenclaw. Three Slytherins (Sebastian Moran, David Mulciber and Owen Nott) were sorted before the next Gryffindors; Peter Pettigrew and James Potter, who sat with Sirius Black.
Carl Powers became a Hufflepuff, and Sarah Sawyer and Severus Snape both joined the Slytherin table.
Molly waited with bated breath for her new friend to be sorted.
Beaming, Harriet took her seat beside Molly.
The hat took quite a long time before announcing, "GRYFFINDOR!"
With a smile as large as his sister's, John joined their table.
The sorting ended with Catherine Zabini being sorted into Slytherin.
The Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, an old man with long white hair and a beard, rose to his feet.
"Welcome, students, both old and new. I shall not deprive you of your meal. Enjoy!"
The previously empty plates suddenly filled with food. Molly was, somehow, not surprised by this. Perhaps she was becoming used to the Wizarding World. Perhaps she was too hungry to care.
During the feast, Molly got to know Alice and Lily, who she would share a dormitory with. Lily was a Muggleborn, like her, and Alice was a Pureblood. They convinced Mary McDonald to sit with them, too, and found that she was also a Muggleborn.
The Hat was right, Molly mused. There would be three Muggleborns in her dormitory alone. It didn't mean anything, at least.
After the feast, Dumbledore made a proper speech, introducing the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Hannah Rosier. She bowed politely to the applause bestowed upon her. the students were dismissed, and the first years were beckoned towards the Prefects, who introduced themselves as Lisa Blackwell and Kingsley Shacklebolt. They led the way up the Marble Staircase, and up many other, less grand, stairs. Eventually, they reached a portrait of a woman in a silk pink dress.
"Password?" she asked.
"Holyhead Harpies," said Lisa. The portrait swung open to admit them.
"Girls, please follow me," said Lisa. The obeyed, following her up a spiral staircase.
"Your dormitories are here," she gestured to a door on her right. "Breakfast starts in the Great Hall at eight o' clock. Classes start at nine. If you need anything, don't hesitate to ask me or Kingsley. Goodnight."
"Night," they replied, rather half-heartedly.
Harriet, who seemed already to be the boldest of the five, pushed open the dormitory door. Five four-poster beds and their luggage awaited them. Molly claimed the bed in the middle of the room, next to a window. Harriet and Alice took the beds either side of her, Mary claimed the bed next to Harriet's, and Lily the one next to Alice's. Toby began to purr at once when she let him out of his basket, immediately curling up on her bed. She pulled the red hangings around her bed and changing into her pyjamas. She climbed into bed, punched her pillow into a more comfortable shape, and sighed.
"I can't sleep," Harriet declared, after a lengthy silence. This was met with a chorus of, "Me neither."
Molly sat up, opening the hangings around her bed.
"I've got some Butterbeer in my trunk," said Alice. "We could share it?"
Molly had no idea what Butterbeer was, but it sounded delicious, so she added her voice to the assent of the others.
The five girls climbed back out of bed, and sat in a circle at the foot of Molly's, passing the bottle of Butterbeer around between them, chatting away.
So it was that Molly Hooper became friends with her fellow first year Gryffindor girls.