"I can't believe we're finally going to Hogwarts! I've been waiting years for this you know!" Jenny Weasley told me, as we stood with our parents on the edge of Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. "Mum's been telling me all about it! And she leant me this book she has called 'Hogwarts: A History.' You really should read it you know!"
I rolled my eyes, and wondered whether Jenny and I would be in the same house. Since it generally seemed that children were put in the same houses as their parents I thought that it was more than likely, and the idea of putting up with her know-all attitude for seven years made me sick! I leant over to tug on Mum's arm.
She leant down to me. "What is it Sam?" She asked.
"D'you think I've got much chance of losing her somewhere in the castle? Honestly Mum she drives me mad!" I said in a low voice.
Jenny was the daughter of Dad's two best friends in the world, Aunt Hermoine and Uncle Ron, and we'd been thrown together on many occasions in the past, causing me to learn pretty quickly that Jenny was not the sort of friend I wanted-nor needed. She spent all her spare time with her nose stuck in a book, whereas I spent all my spare time on a broom practicing. I wanted to take after my father when he was at Hogwarts and be a seeker on the house team. Jenny witheringly informed me that it wasn't very likely-at least not for a few years!
Mum hid a smile. "Just try and behave yourself Samuel. Keep out of her way if she annoys you rather than bickering with her!"
The train gave a loud whistle, making both Jenny and I jump.
"It looks like it's almost time to go." Uncle Ron said jovially. It was fine for him-he wasn't going off to some strange place, with strange people. Even though I'd always known I'd be off to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as soon as I was old enough part of me wanted to stay home with my parents, and attend a normal, muggle school there. The other part of me was excited, especially after having heard all the tales from my parents, and Aunt Hermoine and Uncle Ron (oh, they're not really my Aunt and Uncle, I've just always called them that!).
Suddenly I saw Aunt Hermoine make a face. "Look at that." She said in a low voice, and my parents, and Uncle Ron both turned to see what she was looking at. Jenny and I exchanged puzzled glances, and we both turned also. A tall man, with blonde hair and a pale, pointy face, was leading a young boy towards the train.
"Look here Father!" The boy was saying angrily. "I don't see why I can't take my own broomstick!"
"It's just the rules Alforth. If you get caught with it you'll be expelled." His father replied. "You don't want to disgrace the family, do you? You know what my Father would say to that."
The boy made a face, and then the father noticed us all watching him. A cold smirk came over his face.
"Let's see. The famous Harry Potter and his wife Cho, and their son-hard reputation to live up to there. And the bushy haired red head must be a Weasley crossed with a Granger." The man said with a laugh.
I frowned, instantly disliking the man. And by the way Dad replied I could tell that he was no fan either. "Hello Malfoy. I didn't realise your son was the same age as our children."
Malfoy, as Dad had called him, smirked. "He's not actually. A year younger, but very gifted, and therefore Hogwarts accepted him early."
"Doesn't take after his father then does he?" Uncle Ron muttered, but the man heard well.
"And what are you doing with yourself Weasley? Living in a shack and working at the Ministry? I thought you would have wised up by now and realised there is no real money to be made there. Although with your brother being the Minister of Magic I suppose you think you own the place." The man said, curling his lip. Uncle Ron's brother Percy was the Minister for Magic
"Ignore him Ron." Aunt Hermoine said.
The man turned to Aunt Hermoine. "And you? Teaching at Hogwarts not good enough for you? I heard you left the school to take up a spot in the Ministry also."
"Listen Malfoy," Dad said. "I see you haven't changed. Still don't realise when you're not wanted!"
The man glared at us all, and then he, and his equally pointy-faced wife, led their son away.
"Who was that Dad?" I asked curious.
"Nobody. But Sam, don't make friends with Alforth all right? That family are a bad lot, and I don't want you mixing with them!" Dad replied.
"If you don't want me mixing with them you should tell me why." I said sulkily, knowing he wouldn't.
"It doesn't matter Sam." Dad said. "Just stay clear of the Malfoys alright?"
"Okay." I muttered. If Dad said something like that I knew he must have a good reason for it. Maybe one of the Weasleys already at Hogwarts would know. Currently the son of Percy and Penelope Weasley was in sixth year and a prefect, the daughter of Fred and Jessica Weasley was in fourth year, as was the son of George and Cassandra Weasley. There had been more Weasleys- the children of Bill and Belinda Weasley, and Charlie and Sandra Weasley- but they had already left! Jenny and I were sharing a carriage with those still there on the trip up, so maybe I could ask them then?
"You two better get on the train before it leaves without you." Aunt Hermoine said then. I saw Jenny's face crumple a bit, and decided to act more mature about it then her.
"Right. We wouldn't want that!" I said, and I reached to hug Mum. She held me tightly.
"Have fun Sam. You will have fun you know. Hogwarts is full of interesting things!" She assured me. "And you'll learn some really interesting things too!"
"I know Mum." I said, shrugging out of her embrace, and turning to Dad. He smiled at me.
"I remember when I first went to Hogwarts. I wasn't so prepared as you two will be of course since I had no idea that I was a wizard." He said, hugging me now. I'd heard all about Dad's upbringing-his parents had been killed when he was a baby, and he'd been left to be brought up by his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon, both of who hated Dad, and allowed him to be treated cruelly by themselves and by their fat son Dudley. They told him that his parents had died in a car crash, and it was only when he was eleven he found out about it-his parents had actually died trying to protect him from the baddest wizard who'd ever lived-Lord Voldemort. And later on in his life Dad had been forced to confront the dark wizard and indeed defeat him. If he'd been famous before hand, he was even more so afterwards. But Dad never let fame get to him.
"I'll behave Dad." I said, knowing what he would say.
But this time he smiled. "Well now, I don't expect you to be an angel of course..."
"Come on Sam." Jenny said, her eyes still wet with tears. "Let's get on!" The train was ready to go.
The two of us boarded the train, and we stood waving out the doorway as we pulled out of the station. I think we actually stood there for awhile after we could even see our parents on the station.
"Where are the rest of your family?" I asked, knowing that we were meant to be with them. And unlike Jenny, the rest of the Weasleys, with the exception of Paul (who loved to remind everyone his father had been a prefect and then head boy, and then gone on to be Minister of Magic!), the other Weasleys were all right. Especially Greg-the son of George, who was forever pulling pranks and mucking around. I remembered the time he'd turned Jenny's hair bright blue at a family outing we'd been invited to. I'd noticed that the Weasleys seemed to have adopted Dad to make up for his lack of real family. Whilst we didn't see them all that often, when we did it was sure fun! Of course we saw Jenny and Aunt Hermoine and Uncle Ron a lot more than the rest!
"Here." Jenny replied, pulling the carriage door open, and we went in.