Rose POV

"Rose? Rose! Are you even listening to me?" Albus, my favorite cousin, waves his hand in front of my face.

"What? No, probably not," I sigh.

"As I was saying while you were so rudely ignoring me, is when do you think Scorp will be here?" Albus continues. I glance around at our compartment. Frank Longbottom is curled in a corner, his nose buried in a book. His dark hair falls into his face, and he blows it up at random intervals. His twin sister, Alice, is sitting next to me, her blond hair up in a tight bun. Albus sits across from us, next to Frank.

"Well, he's a prefect, isn't he?" I say. "He's probably with the other prefects."

"Oh, yeah," Albus says. Then, "I'm glad I'm not a prefect." Alice snorts.

"No way you would ever be a prefect," she says.

"Oh, yeah?" Albus says, hunching forwards. "Why?"

"Well-" Alice begins, but I interrupt.

"Alice, aren't you a prefect?" I ask, noticing the shiny badge pinned next to the Gryffindor emblem on her robes.

"Oh my gosh, yes I am! I was one all last year, and I guess I forgot over the summer!" she squeals, and bursts out of the compartment.

Al laughs and Frank sighs. Frank is constantly annoyed by his sister's bubbly personality. They may be twins, but they're complete opposites. Frank goes back to his book, Al stares out the window.

"So," I say, trying to break the silence. "Sixth years, huh?"

"Yup," Frank says vaguely.

"Mm-hm," Al agrees.

"Well, I'm going to go look for some food," I announce. I get up and stalk down the hall of the Hogwarts Express, trying to ignore the whispers I've grown used to.

"Oi, Weasley!" I sigh and turn slowly around. Great. I've gone straight past the sixth-year Slytherins-who hate me.

"What do you want, Nott?" I ask. Travis Nott; he's hated me ever since the hippogriff I was working with in third year Care of Magical Creatures mauled him. Serves him right.

"I want to know where your friends are," Nott sneers. "Because there ain't anyone to stop me hexin' your pretty face."

I finger my wand behind my back. "Yeah?" I taunt. "Give it a go."

Nott does. Before he can get the jinx out, however, his wand is flung out of his hand. I turn around, and see none other than Scorpius Malfoy, his own wand pointed at Nott.

"Watch yourself, Nott," he snarls. "Or it'll be a detention."

"Why look," Nott snarls back. "The blood traitor. How are your mudblood friends?"

"Don't call him that!" I snap, my wand thrusted at Nott's throat. I may hate Malfoy, but no one insults one of my best friends but me.

"Weasley," Malfoy warns. "He's not worth it."

"That's exactly what my father said to my mother about your father," I point out. "Before she punched your father in the face."

"True," Malfoy says while Nott whimpers. "But I would still have to give you detention."

I sigh and stow my wand in my robes, Gryffindor emblem blazing on my chest, just like Malfoy and Alice. Somehow, both Frank and Albus had the fortune to end up in Gryffindor as well-though they both claim the Sorting Hat had a tough time deciding, as it did with all of us.

Malfoy and I continue walking down the hallway back to our compartment, all thoughts of food forgotten. Not five feet away, I hear Nott mutter a jinx, heading straight for the back of my head. Malfoy shoves me out of the way and into the wall, his forearm pressed up against my chest. The jinx flies straight past, hitting an open compartment door. The force pushes the door closed, and a couple of angry fourth years poke their heads out. Then they see Malfoy and quickly duck back inside.

"Twenty points from Slytherin, Nott," Malfoy warns. "Go away before I make it fifty."

Nott scowls and he and his cronies duck back into their compartment. Malfoy turns back to me.

"Get off me," I say, trying to shove his arm off. No use. I may be strong, but he's stronger. We're both Gryffindor Beaters, sadly enough for me, but at least I'm Captain.

"Why?" he says, smirking. "It's comfortable."

I'm saved by Alice rushing down the hall. Malfoy quickly backs up until he hits the opposite wall.

"Hey, Alice," I say, relieved.

"Hi, Rosie," she chirps happily, lacing her arm through mine, oblivious to what just happened. "Hey, Scorpy." Malfoy rolls his eyes at Alice's nickname, which she made up second year. As we pass the fourth years, they sneak glares at us. I stifle a laugh, and Alice giggles. She's pretty much the same as she was when we got together mid-July. I'm sorry to say that Malfoy is now a head taller than me; my forehead just reaches his chin.

We burst into the last compartment(which we take every train ride). My little brother Hugo and cousin Lily, fourth years, have joined Al and Frank.

"Hi, guys!" Alice says. Lily jumps up and runs straight to Malfoy, who sighs. Lily's been obsessed with him since she met him. She claims it's his good looks...I don't see it. Well, maybe a little. But Al and I think it's hilarious and Alice thinks it's cute, so I have to stifle another laugh.

"Hi, Rosie," Hugo yawns. "I think we're gonna be there soon, Lily. We should go."

"Bye!" Lily squeals as she runs out the still-open door. Hugo yawns again and shuffles after her, closing the door behind him.

"He's right, you know," Frank says, frowning. "We are going to be there soon."

Al sighs. "Alice, Rose-get out, I need to change."

"Oh, we don't care, do we, Rosie?" Alice giggles.

"Well, Rose is my cousin," Al says. "So Alice, out."

Alice sighs and steps out of the compartment. I have no desire to see my cousin in his boxers, so I follow her.

Of course, Alice tries peeking into the compartment every few seconds, so I have to distract her with my last Cauldron Cake, coincidentally her favorite sweet.

Malfoy knocks twice on the glass to let us know Al is done, but we've already arrived at the Hogsmeade station. The five of us head down the train toward the carriages. We take one with the five of us, Hugo and Lily, and James and a couple of his friends; Cade McLaggen(who is thankfully nothing like his father) and Joshua Brown.

Hugo and Lily can't see the thestrals(thankfully), but we can. Triwizard Tournament, two years ago, hosted by Hogwarts. Tracey Monaghan, Durmstrang champion, killed by a rogue dragon. It had followed its mother here, seen Monaghan facing off, and swooped in. Awful. But they've still continued, because that was the first death(discluding Cedric Diggory) to occur.

The Sorting is excellent, several new first years for Gryffindor. I successfully avoid Nott as he attempts to jinx me again(Headmistress McGonagall catches him, Malfoy informs her that's the third time and he gets fifty points from Slytherin and a detention). The feast is as delicious as ever.

Of course, by the end of the night we're all exhausted. Alice and Malfoy have to show the first years around, so Frank, Al, and I trail behind them blearily. I bid the boys goodnight and head up to our dorms. Alice and I share with Bethany Brown(who's a dunghead), Cait McLaggen(who's a heck of a lot like her father), and Alison Finnigan(who is really nice and an excellent Chaser).

The first week of classes buzz by. No new teachers, harder classes. "NEWTs are coming up fast," the professors say. Are you kidding me? We don't have NEWTs for another two years. The teachers really need to learn that.

Albus POV

"Albus Severus Potter, stop staring at Bethany Bimbo Brown an listen to me!"

"Huh?" I say, jerking out of my thoughts. "Sorry, Rose, I was thinking about stuff."

Rose raises her eyebrow and Alice giggles.

"What?" I ask. "What's so funny?" Rose sighs.

"Nothing, nothing," she says. "What I was saying is that we should plan a prank."

"A prank?" Frank asks. "Why?"

"Because my uncles left us a legacy to fill, and I intend to fill it," Rose announces.

"Rose, we're a week into school," Scorp says, looking up from the Herbology essay he's struggling over. "Can't it wait?"

"No," she says. But she drops the topic of pranks and turns back to her DADA essay.

"Oh, give them here," I say, snapping. They both grin and hand me their essays, which I easily complete. Rose may have inherited Aunt Hermione's brains, but she also inherited Uncle Ron's easy-going, laid-back, please-help-me-cheat personality. Her idea of a peaceful resolution is knocking someone's teeth out with her Beater's bat. Or textbook. Or whatever heavy object happens to be near.

"Thanks, Al," Rose and Scorp say in unison as I hand their respective essays back. Then they glare at each other. I sigh. This is going to be a loong year.

"Back on the topic of pranks, I want to get Nott back," Rose informs us.

"Back for what?" I ask, confused.

"Trying to jinx me on the train," she says. "Twice."

"He what?!" I yell, nearly spilling my ink bottle.

"Relax, Al, it was a week ago," she says. Then she starts talking about all of the pranks she has planned. I sit back down, seething. Rose is my favorite cousin, and I know that I'm hers, and I'm very protective of her, ever since my mom told me all about how protective Uncle Ron was of her, especially around boys. Rose is a dead ringer for my mom; same long, wavy ginger hair, same brown eyes. The only difference is no freckles, and she's a bit shorter. I've heard boys whispering about how they like her; they say her personality is as good as her looks. A few glares from me set them straight, but she's still never had a boyfriend. Which, I admit, may be my fault. And I hate Nott as much as she does.

Alice is doing her nails, her long blond hair up in a ponytail-yes, I admit she's pretty. Frank is organizing his chess pieces, Scorp is starting on another essay. He looks at me hopefully, and I shake my head. He sighs in defeat.

The portrait hole bursts open. We all look up as our Head of House, Professor Mulberry, barges in through the portrait hole. She's gasping, looking around the common room. She spots us and rushes over.

"Rose," she says quickly. "Your brother has been attacked."

Rose gasps and stands up. "By who?" she asks.

"Travis Nott," Professor Mulberry continues. Now I'm not the only one seething.

"Al, come on," she says. A few of the Weasley-Potter clan get up to follow, Louis, Roxanne, and Lucy are the only ones standing around.

When we get to the hospital wing, Hugo is already sitting up, grinning about something with Lily and James. Rose runs right to him.

"Where's Nott?" she asks. "Because I'm going to kill him."

"I think Professor McGonagall beat you to it, dear," says Madam Pomfrey, the Hogwarts nurse. "Last I heard, it was one hundred points from Slytherin and detention until Christmas."

"Oh," Rose says, looking slightly disappointed.

"Can I go now?" Hugo asks. "Really, I'm fine." All the younger cousins look up at Madam Pomfrey with pleading eyes.

"I suppose," Madam Pomfrey sighs. Hugo grins and jumps up.

"What did he do?" Louis asks as we walk back to Gryffindor tower.

"Some sectum-thingy," Hugo says. Rose, James, and I go white. We're the only ones who know what Sectumsempra really's how Uncle George lost an ear, of course. The younger ones don't know yet, though.

"He missed," Hugo is saying, "and it only hit my forehead. Professor Mulberry was walking by and she sent him to the Headmistress's office and me to the hospital wing. Madam Pomfrey healed me in about a minute."

"Well, I'm glad you're okay," Rose says, ruffling his hair. Then she yawns as we clamber into the portrait hole. "G'night." She tromps off to bed, Alice getting up to follow her. Frank is gone, Scorp still struggling with his essay.

"Oh, give it here," I say, sighing. He grins. Yup, this is going to be a very long year.