“Time to get up, ickle Ronniekins!”
I blearily opened my eyes, emitting a wide, loud yawn. It took me a while to work out what the sound of Fred and George’s frantic knocking meant.
Excitement mounted in my stomach as my eyes drifted over my cosy attic room. The Chudley Cannons zoomed excitedly in the posters pinned to my wall, as though they knew what was coming for me.
I, Veronica Weasley, was going to Hogwarts. Finally.
I felt a nibbling at my ear. “Scabbers!” I giggled. “That tickles!”
I plucked my pet rat off my pillow and gave it a little peck on the mouth. “Now be nice, or else I won’t bring you to Hogwarts with me.”
Placing Scabbers back down on the bed, I jumped up, rushing to have a shower before throwing on my new robes. Well - Fred’s old robes which Mum had bewitched to look new(ish). Plain black for now, but hopefully soon to be marked with red and gold, just like my brothers. I looked in the mirror, frowning at my long nose and ghastly freckles. I decided to tie my red hair back into a long braid, allowing soft tendrils to cover as much of my face as possible, hoping to hide my unsightly features.
“I wish you weren’t going, Ronnie,” Ginny wailed at the breakfast table, her bottom lip wobbling. “I’m going to be left all on my own.”
“Hey, it’s okay!” I assured her, giving her hand a hearty pat as I crammed toast into my mouth. “I’ll write to you all the time, and you never know - I might even see Harry Potter!”
“OH!” Ginny gasped, her face flushing red. “I forgot he’s starting too! Oh please, Ronnie. Please make friends with him!”
“I’ll try.” I shrugged as I plucked the abandoned crusts of toast off of her plate and quickly shovelled them down.
I felt immediately bad. I mean, it was unlikely Harry Potter would want to be friends with me. A Weasley.
But I’d try. For Ginny.
“Come on, Platform nine and three quarters this way! All right, Percy, you first.”
Percy, the oldest of my brothers currently at Hogwarts, trotted forwards at our mother’s command, along with his luggage, and disappeared through the wall.
Ginny was holding onto my hand, sobbing hysterically as our mother ordered Fred and George through next.
“I want to come with you!” She wailed, wiping her face on my arm so that my sleeve was drenched in her tears.
“For crying out loud!” Mum spat impatiently, “Would you pull yourself together, Ginevra? You’ll be going soon enough. Now look, you’re ruining Veronica’s robes!”
We all turned around at the sound of the timid voice which belonged to a raven-haired boy with glasses. He was quite clearly one of us, given the trunk and the caged owl that accompanied him.
“Hullo, dear,” Mum said kindly, acting as though she wasn’t just ripping into her dear children. “First time at Hogwarts? Veronica’s new, too.”
She gestured over to me, and I found myself blushing as the boy’s green eyes landed on me. We exchanged small smiles, only causing me to blush further.
Mum explained how to get onto the platform as Ginny and I watched on curiously. The poor boy looked terrified as she instructed him to run headfirst into a solid brick wall. But clearly this kid would do anything he was told, as he did so anyway, closing his eyes in the process.
I ran through with Ginny next, who was still clutching my hand tightly. I was starting to worry she was never going to let me go.
The raven-haired boy must have been swallowed up in the steam and crowds as he was no where to be seen when I stepped onto the platform. I couldn’t help but feel a tug of disappointment, it would have been nice to have a fellow first year to walk onto the train with.
A white handkerchief was suddenly thrust in my face, attacking the end of my nose.
"Mum - geroff!” I yelled, wriggling free. I gave a quick furtive glance around, praying no one witnessed that. Blimey, Mum could be so embarrassing at times.
“Aaah, has ickle Ronnie got somefink on her nosie?” George teased.
“Shut up!” I growled at him, feeling fury boil at my insides. I absolutely hated it when the twins picked on me.
“Where’s Percy?” Mum asked, ignoring us.
“Gone to the Prefects carriage, of course.” Fred scoffed. The twins had been extremely bitter about Percy being made Prefect and had teased him relentlessly all summer.
They could be such dicks.
Mum sighed in annoyance. “Oh well, I’d better go up and say goodbye. Now, let go of Veronica’s hand Ginny, and allow her to say her goodbyes.”
Ginny started bawling again, clinging onto me tighter than ever. Mum rolled her eyes, giving my cheek a quick peck.
“Be good now, dear, and owl me the second you get the chance to let me know you got into Gryffindor.”
She started trying to prise Ginny from me who was now in complete hysterics. Everyone started staring at us, looking to see what all the fuss was about.
“Pack it in!” Mum hissed, finally yanking her free from my arm.
“I love you, Ginny,” I said, trying desperately to placate her. I didn’t want this to be how I last saw her. “And I promise I’ll owl all the time.”
“E-Everyday?” She hiccoughed, starting to calm a little.
“Everyday,” I smiled, crossing my fingers behind my back. I loved her, but I mean, be realistic.
"Blimey,” I breathed, waving to Mum and a still tearful Ginny as the train finally chugged out of the station.
I started walking along the corridor, looking for an empty - or even just a friendly - enough looking compartment to sit in.
I couldn’t believe my luck when I came across the raven-haired boy sitting alone in a compartment. My heart racing, I carefully slid open the door.
“Anyone sitting there?” I asked, pointing at the seat opposite him. “Everywhere else is full.” I lied.
“No, not at all,” he smiled shyly.
“I’m Veronica by the way,” I said, dumping my luggage and taking a seat. “But don’t call me that, I hate it. Call me Ronnie. Ronnie Weasley.”
“I’m Harry, Harry Potter,” he grinned at me holding out a hand.
But I was too busy gawping to shake it.
“Blimey! So- so it’s true?! I mean, do you really have the... the...”
"Scar...” I whispered, instantly feeling the heat rush to my cheeks.
“Oh, yeah.” Harry pushed his fringe back. And there it was. Shaped like a lightning bolt, just like in the stories.
I realised I was still gawping, and quickly closed my mouth, blushing furiously. Harry grinned shyly at me.
“Umm, I heard you had to live with Muggles,” I murmured, fascinated by this boy in front of me. “Was that fun?”
Harry’s face dropped, his grin instantly vanishing. “If you call being starved and locked up in a cupboard under the stairs fun, then yeah - I had a ball.”
"Bloody hell,” I gasped, my hand instantly flying to my mouth. Mum was always scolding me for my use of colourful language.
But to my surprise, Harry just giggled, and the next thing I knew we were both clutching our stomachs in belly-aching laughter.
Harry was awesome. He bought the whole sweet trolley for us. I couldn’t help but notice he was completely loaded. Lucky git.
A really annoying girl called Hermione visited us. She claimed I didn’t know real magic when I failed to turn Scabbers yellow. What a bitch.
She stared at Harry as though he was god, and I was relieved when she left. Hopefully, we wouldn’t see too much more of her.
And then we had another visitor. Three of them, in fact.
A pale white-blond haired boy, flanked by two burly looking goons.
“Is it true?” He said, ignoring me and staring at Harry with great interest. “They’re saying all down the train that Harry Potter’s in this compartment. So, it’s you, is it?”
“Well, it’s not me.” I scoffed, rolling my eyes as I folded my arms huffily across my chest at yet another unwanted interruption.
The boy glared at me, his grey eyes piercing alarmingly into mine. Deciding I was obviously not important enough to warrant a response, he turned back to Harry.
“This is Crabbe, and this is Goyle,” he drawled, pointing carelessly at the two goons. “And my name’s Malfoy, Draco Malfoy.”
I couldn’t help but snigger. What a stupid name!
“Think my name’s funny, do you?” Draco spat, turning on me, his face a picture of disgust. “No need to ask yours. Red hair and a hand me down robe? You must be a Weasley.”
I felt the heat rise to my cheeks. Hatred filled my stomach.
“You’ll soon find out some wizarding families are better than others, Potter.” He continued, turning back to Harry. “You don’t want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there.”
He held out his hand to shake Harry’s, but to my delight, Harry didn’t take it.
“I think I can tell who the wrong sort are for myself, thanks.” He said coolly, looking pointedly back at him.
A pink tinge appeared in Draco’s pale cheeks.
“I’d be careful if I were you, Potter,” he said slowly. “Unless you’re a bit politer you’ll go the same way as your parents. They didn’t know what was good for them, either. You hang around with riff-raff like the Weasley’s and it’ll rub off on you.”
“You say that again!” I bellowed, standing up.
Draco, however, just laughed in my face.
“Whatever. As if I’d fight a girl. Especially a Weasley at that. It’s not like your parents could afford the funeral, after all.”
He wheeled round and left, his two goons following behind him; leaving me shaking with an anger I had never felt before. Deep burning fury.
And that, kids, was how I met Draco Malfoy.