"Ron for heavens sake. Go upstairs and get dressed, this is not the day to dilly dally!"
Aunt Molly did seem a little more stressed than normal. You would think she would be an expert at the annual challenge of getting to the Hogwarts express on time, but why she was picking on Ron I had no idea. It wasn't as if he was doing anything wrong just looking slightly grey from what I could only presume were nerves (or the fact that we were just given corned beef sandwiches for the train). He was in fact being unusually quiet.
Being an only child to parents who are both Squibs sounds horrendous, but in truth it's meant that I have been homeschooled alongside Ron. I'm extremely close to all my cousins with us seeing each other as siblings more than anything, but Ron is well and truly my best friend. My Mum was never bothered about not having a magical ability, something my Grandmother who would never admit it, was devastated about. When she adopted Aunt Molly, she was overwhelmed when Molly got into Gryffindor. When Bill started school everybody was relieved that he too got in, then Charlie, Percy, Fred and George the pressure was now on for me and Ron. For Ron it was a family tradition, if he didn't get in, he would never hear the end of it. But for me, I'm the last chance for a blood relative to get into Gryffindor, something I know means a lot to my Grandmother deep down. Not that I could even call her that the next time I see her, because our Grandmother is Professor Minerva McGonagall, Transfiguration teacher at Hogwarts, head of Gryffindor house and deputy headmistress of Hogwarts.
"Rose is everything okay" I was staring, spaced out where Ron had been sitting only moments before, even weirder George looked serious. I must have seriously blanked out and looked weird for him not to be a) grinning like his usually pixyish self, or b) at least taken the advantage of whacking me without me being able to defend myself.
"Are you kidding?" "I thought so" Piped up Fred "What" "Your worried we are going to be embarrassed to be around you" Fred had that mischievous look in his eye, I knew what he was playing at, but it was always best to go along with it.
"Why would I embarrass you? You ask me for fashion advice most days"
"We aren't the one sneaking Smutz to school"
"It isn't sneaking if I'm walking him on a lead with everybody able to see him" I tried to sound bored, wanting the conversation to come to an end quickly.
" Did you ask if you could bring him? Percy was now looking at me, spectacles down accusingly and his perfect badge slightly too shiny for my liking. Fred was so dead.
"Yes" phew my poker face was on point today. I wasn't theoretically lying, I had sent an owl to Professor Dumbledore, I just hadn't heard back yet. "How did you get away with that?" Snapped Percy "I said I'm allergic to cats, which you know is true.."
"and I'm bringing a rat that used to be yours and is also not on the allocated pet list, and therefore Rose can take her dog, so zip it" Thank you Ron! It seemed that Ron had finally got dressed. I sent him a grateful glance, Percy opened his mouth to retaliate just as Aunt Molly holding Ginny's hand came into the living room. Luckily she didn't seem to notice us all giving each other looks.
"Right everybody, luggage downstairs now, and have your spare change of clothes in your school bags for when we get to the pub, I know how dirty the flu network is."
I slowly made my way up the familiar staircase, taking in things I taken advantage of. Looking around the small comfy room that me and Ron had called home for the past 11 years with our peeling quidditch team posters and my drawings I had done when bored, even hearing the whacking noises coming from the ghoul, I wondered when I was next going to see it all again. It was finally starting to sink in that we were really going to school today. I looked at myself in the mirror, familiar blue eyes staring back at me, a small smile playing on my plump lips, wait till Grandma sees the nose stud. With long wavy blonde hair that falls down my back, I do look the polar opposite to the rest of my family. I am an Metamorphmagus (a witch or wizard with the rare ability to change their physical appearance). It was the first sign that I had any magical ability as a toddler. We think I changed my whole appearance when I was a baby as the only thing I have in common with my parents is my height, at six foot 2 I am extremely tall and could technically shorten myself, but I like the connection to my parents. On occasion I have used it to my advantage changing into Percy or Fred and George to get them into trouble. One of Ron's favourite activities to do especially over the summer when they all got too annoying to ignore.
Taking one last look into the mirror sighing I turned to my bed which had my train outfit left out ready to pack:
leather jacket tick white t shirt, tick skinny jeans, tick grey converse, tick.
"Rose are you coming down any time soon?" Percy shouted
Rolling my eyes I slowly put the clothes in my red rucksack ready, and left the room not daring to look around again, shouting goodbye to the ghoul on the way out.
The living room was now pretty packed with everyone's luggage, 7 people, 1 rat, 1 owl and 1 dog, the family piano looking slightly squashed against in the corner.
"Now Remember to pronounce the pub name properly before throwing the flu powder in the fireplace Ron, this is not the day to get lost in the middle of London." I gave his hand a quick squeeze of encouragement, it was one time for heavens sake and now wasn't the time to get Ron in a bad mood.
"Percy you first"
"Of course Mother, King Charles I Pub, Kings Cross"
And just like that Percy had been engorged into the fireplace. "Remember When you sneezed Ron and said King Snarls and ended up in the lion enclosure at London Zoo?"
"George, seriously how is that helpful in any shape or form" What was this pick on Ron day?
"You wouldn't be smiling either if it had happened to you" Rons ears had now matched the shade of his hair, its official, this first day at Hogwarts was now going to have to be get Ron out of this shit mood day. One by one everybody took their turn Molly, offering to take my luggage so that I could carry Smutz, who at this point was shivering slightly.
I gave him a pat on the head, he really was a confidence boost that I couldn't explain, he had gone everywhere with me and school would be no exception. Being a Miniature Schnauzer meant that Smutz didn't moult and one of the few breeds that didn't give me allergies. He also reminded me of Dumbledore with his long beard and eyebrows, although unlike Dumbledore who was purely white, Smutz's beard was black and white in colour.
Picking Smutz up and breathing into his fur for reassurance, I stepped up to the fireplace ready for for excitement and adventure.
"King Charles I Pub, Kings Cross."