Weasley, Rose

Disclaimer 1: This is fanfic. That means I do not own any of it. I just borrow it to play with for a little while and let people see the pathetic results if they really want to.

Disclaimer 2: I'm not making any money from it. It's just for fun.

Disclaimer 3: What isn't borrowed is all made up. None of this is real or most likely at all realistic. Please don't trust any of the information in here. Most likely you know more about whatever I'm writing about than I do.

Disclaimer 4: Attitudes, views and opinions expressed by the characters or in the story are not necessarily those of the author. Even when writing Science Fiction or Fantasy I do not tend to attempt to create perfect/better worlds in which everybody gets a happy end ... or whatever is best for them. Please accept that some characters will have a bad ending or be unhappy.

Disclaimer 5: I intend no insult to anyone. If I offend anyone I'm very sorry. Please understand that it was an accident as I tend to be very clumsy in these things.

Disclaimer 6: If my characters' conversations seem odd or they appear to be talking past each other the latter might occasionally be intentional, but most likely it is an accident and I'm not aware that they are. It's just my bad communication skills.

Notes: Quick one inspired by the epilogue of DH. Just what is it like to be the daughter of Ron and Hermione?

Weasley, Rose

Starting Hogwarts seemed to be an even bigger event than Rose Weasley had expected. In fact it was so big that her father took a day off from work even though nobody was sick and her mother only started work at 10 am, three hours later than usual. She'd probably stay after to make up for it, but then Rose wouldn't be home for dinner either.

Not that it was an unusual occurrence for Hermione Granger-Weasley to miss dinner with her family. Normally there were maybe five meals a week that the whole family had together, three of them on Sunday. Dad kept telling her that this was normal and most families were like that, but whenever Rose talked with her cousins it seemed that the normal thing for a family with children below Hogwarts age to do was have one parent staying at home and the other coming home for dinner. The working parent usually also was at home on Saturday.

"But they don't each have their own imagicnator," Dad pointed out whenever she mentioned it to him. "Or an eagle owl and the latest broom model. Look at all the wonderful things you've got, because we have two incomes."

That was true. Only Cousin Harry and Cousin Fred owned imagicnators and they had to lend them to their siblings sometimes. Harry's had been bought second hand and sometimes needed a good shake to start up and Fred's was five years old and couldn't handle the newer games.

Her cousins also didn't know what a day-care-center or primary school looked like. They'd never been to one, because hey were too expensive for a single income family. Instead they got to stay at home, sleep as long as they were tired, taught by their Mum or Dad and hear bedtime stories when they went to bed.

Stay at home parents also baked biscuits and birthday cakes with their children instead of buying them at the supermarket and they knew silly nursery rhymes that made little children laugh.

Of course Rose was much too old for nursery rhymes and she'd been reading for herself for years. She'd even found a book about nursery rhymes in the library of her primary school. They were all Muggle rhymes of course, but she had secretly copied as many of them as she could without risking that her teacher found out and told her parents. She sang them to little Rowena when she babysat her siblings on the evenings when Dad went out with Uncle Harry and Mum worked late.

On those days she also read her bedtime story out loud for Hugo as she'd done everyday before he'd learned to read himself. At that point Mum had forbidden it, because Hugo needed the practise. He wasn't reading as well as Rose was.

Of course he wasn't. He was two years younger and needed glasses.

Rose felt a little guilty for breaking Mum's rule, but Hugo loved hearing stories just as much as Rowena loved silly rhymes. Besides she remembered Dad telling Mum at the end of the school year that his teacher had said that Hugo was an excellent reader and had a very big vocabulary for his age. Surely an occasional bedtime story couldn't hurt.

At the end of the story, when she closed the book and gave him a good night kiss on the forehead, like mothers in books did, he always smiled up at her and said "I love you, Rose.".

She wished she didn't have to stay at faraway Hogwarts day and night from now on. Who'd read bedtime stories for Hugo now?

And Rowena? She always laughed and clapped her hands and called "'gain!" when Rose sang a rhyme for her. She didn't seem to mind that the melodies and gestures weren't right. Rose had to make them up, because she'd only copied the rhymes themselves from the books. It was faster and the less paper it took up the easier it was to hide from Dad when he checked her schoolbag. Rose didn't know how to read music anyway, so the notes on the funny lines didn't tell her what the song was supposed to sound like and weren't worth the risk of hiding them from Dad.

Dad was very strict about homework and studying, because Mum would be mad at him, if one of her children brought home a B. Bs were evil. Only lazy and stupid children had Bs. Children who'd end up being shop assistants and waiters. Rose supposed that Mum would probably disown her, if she grew up to be a shop assistant. Dad probably wouldn't, but he'd still hate her for failing to perform properly. Grades were important. They were how a child's worth was measured after all.

And parents only wanted top quality.

Well, her parents at least. Cousin Louis had brought home a C last year and Uncle George had baked him a "first day of holiday" cake anyway and closed the joke shop for the day. She didn't understand why other parents still spoiled and treasured their children even when they got bad grades. Her own parents had accepted her straight As with a "good girl" and recommended a list of books to read over the holidays.

They'd also taken the precaution of having two more children, even though it meant that Mum had had to stay home from work for two weeks after each birth. That had to have been a hard decision and the thought of being so easily replaced, if her grades ever dropped was scary, but Rose loved her siblings and wouldn't have wanted it any other way. How sad would her life be without Hugo and Rowena to play with her, love her and smile at her when she made them happy!

But that was all gone now. She'd be all alone at Hogwarts for two years until Hugo could join her there. Well, not entirely alone. Her older cousins would be there and Albus would even be in her year.

He looked worried as they got on the train and Rose wondered why. Did he find it hard to leave his siblings behind as well? But James was coming with them anyway!

"Is something wrong?" she asked him once they had found a compartment. "Are you worried about leaving Lily behind?"

"A little," Albus said softly apparently unwilling to talk about it.

Boys were like that sometimes, afraid to admit their feelings. How were you supposed to help them when they wouldn't even say what was wrong?

"He's afraid that he won't be sorted into Gryffindor," James jeered. He could get really nasty sometimes when there were no adults around. "And that Mum and Dad won't love him anymore."

"That's not true!" Albus protested.

"Of course it isn't," Rose agreed. "As long as you study hard and get good grades your parents will love you no matter what."

"They'd prefer me to be in Gryffindor, though," Albus said. "It's their old house."

"My Dad wants me to be in Gryffindor, too," Rose admitted. "But I think Mum would prefer Ravenclaw."

"Gryffindor's much better than stuffy Ravenclaw," James announced. "You don't really want to be in the bookish house, do you?"

"I think all the houses are great," Rose told him. It wasn't proper to insult another house like that. What if a Ravenclaw overheard them? It'd hurt their feelings. "But I think I'd prefer Gryffindor, if I had a choice. Not because it's in any way better than the others, though. Just because most of the people I know in Hogwarts are there and I'd like to be close to them."

"We've got three cousins in Ravenclaw," Albus pointed out. "And Teddy was a Ravenclaw, too."

"Suki is one as well," James added. "And both Lovegood boys. I bet Stella's going to end up there, too."

Rose didn't comment on that. Her Father always encouraged her to play with Stella Lovegood, because her mother was an old school friend of his, but Mum strongly disapproved of an unmarried witch having four children 'possibly each with a different father'.

Stella, Antares, Orion and Aries didn't seem to mind, though. Or maybe they just pretended to be indifferent to jibes about their parentage, so people would leave them alone. They stuck together tightly just like Rose and Hugo and very unlike James and Albus.

James soon took off to sit with his friends and Rose and Albus started a game of exploding snap to pass the time. Scorpius Malfoy stuck his head through the door at one point, but quickly withdrew it when he saw them. He seemed terribly shy to Rose.

The wizard with the food trolley came by a little later and Rose bought a large stock of all her favourite candies while Albus, after careful consideration, chose a pumpkin pastry and a box of chocolate frogs.

"I don't want to spend all my pocket money too soon," he explained. "Who knows what I might need in a week or two."

"I'm stocking up for the next few months," Rose returned. "There aren't any shops at Hogwarts and I doubt my parents will send much candy. Besides I didn't even touch my pocket money. Mum gave me some extra for the trip."

It was a bit embarrassing so she didn't mention that Dad had slipped her several galleons as well when he'd hugged her good bye. People would probably think her a spoiled brat, if they knew how often her parents gave her extra money.

A few hours later they arrived in Hogsmeade where Mr. Hagrid took them across the lake and into the castle. He was an old friend of Uncle Harry's Albus told her and taught Care for Magical Creature. Mum had told her not to take that elective in her third year. It was too dangerous and of little use, she'd said.

Right now she didn't care about that, though. The sight of the castle she was going to be staying in for the next seven years caused another wave of home-sickness to wash over her. She'd miss Hugo and Rowena so much. It felt almost like going to Azkaban.

What if she didn't do well in her classes? What if the teachers didn't like her? What if Hugo was sorted into a different house?

She stumbled out of the boat on shaky legs and after Mr. Hagrid, then stood hugging herself in a corner when they were left to wait for Professor Fortescue to lead them into the great hall.

"Did they threaten to disinherit you as well?" Scorpius Malfoy asked her shyly. "If you're sorted into the wrong house, I mean."

She shook her head. "No, but whatever house I get into one of my parents will be disappointed."

He nodded. "I think my father was joking when he said only Slytherin would do. Mum was a Ravenclaw, so that's probably fine, too."

"Our parents were all Gryffindors and so's my brother," Albus said. "I don't want to be the black sheep."

"Mum's convinced I should be a Ravenclaw, even though she was a Gryffindor," Rose explained. "But I'd rather be with Albus and my other cousins."

"It'll be alright," Scorpius said. "They're our parents. They'll love us no matter what." He still looked terribly pale, though. Rose wished she could believe him.

When the Professor came, they lined up at the very end of the cue, first Scorpius, then Rose and finally Albus. She felt oddly safe between the two boys even though she'd only just met Scorpius. It was definitely better than walking behind a complete stranger.

The sorting hat was a disappointment. It looked torn up and ratty and its brim was scorched as if it had been on fire sometime in the past. The first student to have to put it on "Applegate, Ashley" frowned in disgust as it was put on her head.

It seemed an eternity before the hat finally decided on "HUFFLEPUFF!". Rose shivered. It became obvious pretty soon that they were being called in alphabetical order and that meant that she was likely to be the last one of her year to know her fate. Why, oh why, had her parents named her Weasley rather than Granger-Weasley like Mum?

Time crept on as an endless succession of children were called.

"Good luck!" Albus called out as tiny Stella Lovegood made her way to the front.

Rose waved at her, but was too nervous to speak.

Stella smiled at them serenely and walked on confidently as if nothing could scare her at all.

"SL..." the hat began, interrupted itself and tried again. "GR ... No, RAVENCLAW. My, you are a difficult one to place."

"Sorry, Mr. Hat," Stella apologised and patted its scorched brim before taking it off. "And thank you. I'm sure I'll be very happy in my new house."

She passed the hat on to Scorpius who looked almost as shaky as Rose felt. This time it seemed to take especially long before the hat decided on "HUFFLEPUFF!"

The Hufflepuffs were the only ones who applauded as he went to join their table looking just as stunned as the rest of the school.

Rose grabbed Albus' sleeve and clung to it for protection until "Potter, Albus-Severus!" was called out and she had to let him go.

Albus' sorting was fast. He'd only just sat down when the hat called out "SLYTHERIN!".

"I knew it!" Cousin James' voice rang out clearly from the Gryffindor table.

What a jerk!

Albus trudged off, the first member of their family ever to be sorted into Slytherin. Rose hoped that he wouldn't be too lonely there. Surely a nice boy like Albus would make new friends quickly. It would have been better, if Scorpius had been sorted into Slytherin as well, though. Then they could have kept each other company.

The sorting went on. Was it just her imagination or did the last names of at least half of her year start with R, S or T?

After the Ts there was only one other girl besides herself left, a short fat stranger, but Rose still stepped closer to her for protection. She felt terribly exposed by now.

The girl looked back at her with wide frightened eyes. Neither wanted to be the last one left up here, but the alphabet knew no mercy. It had already decided. For one heartbeat Rose considered asking the girl's last name.

"Umbridge, Ursula!" Professor Fortescue read out just then.

Rose had to force herself not to hug herself in front of everybody. Luckily Ursula didn't take long to sort. She'd only just sat down and put on the hat when it already called out "GRYFFINDOR" and then it was Rose's turn.

She stumbled forward, accepted the hat from Ursula with a quick "Thank you." that the girl probably didn't even hear in her eagerness to join her new house and pulled it over her eyes as quickly as possible so she at least didn't have to see all the people staring at her anymore.

"Ah," said the hat inside her head. "So your mother wants you in Ravenclaw, does she? And to think how eager she herself was to be in Gryffindor once. Your father would prefer you in Gryffindor, of course, but there's your cousin who's all alone in Slytherin. Don't want him to be lonely, eh?"

"No," she confirmed. "I really don't. This is such a messed up situation."

"You're worried that you'll have to disappoint one of your parents."

"They'll argue again," Rose explained. "They argue a lot and Hugo and Rowena cry when they hear them shout at each other."

She wasn't going to be there to see it, but that also meant she couldn't offer any comfort to her siblings. No comfort, no bedtime stories, no nursery rhymes. Not even any help with homework for Hugo. He'd have to walk to school and day-care all alone tomorrow.

"You don't want to be here," the hat stated with a touch of surprise. "You'd rather have stayed with your siblings."

Tears filled her eyes unexpectedly, but she managed to fight them down before any could escape and nobody would be able to see them under the hat.

"What house would you prefer, if you could choose?" the hat asked and she wondered whether it was offering her a choice or just stalling for time.

Her original wish had been Gryffindor with all her older cousins, but she didn't know any of the students who'd been sorted there this year and Dad handled disappointments better than Mum. He'd had more practise.

Ravenclaw offered fewer cousins, but Mum would be happy about it and Stella Lovegood was there. Surely she and Stella could become good friends, but Mum disapproved of Stella and would be disappointed after all. She'd also interpret the sorting as Rose taking more after her than after Dad and knowing her she'd lord it over Dad all the time. Rose didn't like that prospect. She felt a lot closer to Dad than to Mum. At least she used to see Dad everyday.

It wasn't fair that he should be the one to be disappointed just because he was more used to handling disappointments.

Slytherin would be the neutral choice. Maybe if she went to neither of their preferred houses, her parents would turn to each other for comfort and not argue.

Then again Dad hated Slytherins and he was her favourite parent. Could she do this to him? And what would it be like not to know anybody in the girls' dorms at all? What if Slytherin house wouldn't accept a Weasley?

"Well, at a closer look you really are an obvious HUFFLEPUFF!" the hat decided.

Hufflepuff? It took her a moment to fully realise that the hat had made its choice. She'd never even considered Hufflepuff and wasn't quite sure how she felt about it, but before she could make up her mind the applause of her fellow students drew her out of her thoughts. Right, she couldn't just remain sitting here with the hat over her head. She had to join her house table.

The applause seemed louder to her than it had for the other students, but that was probably just because everything had seemed so distant while she'd been under the hat. Or maybe it was because she'd been the last student to sort and now they'd finally get to eat. She really shouldn't hold things up.

But what was she supposed to do with the hat? There was no next student to hand it to and everybody was watching her. Should she just put it on the chair? Or hand it to Professor Fortescue?

She looked at the teacher wondering whether it'd seem impossible to ask.

Professor Fortescue smiled and gently took the hat out of her hand. "Go on then." He nodded towards the Hufflepuff table.

It was a neutral choice as well, she realised as she walked, and one neither of her parents hated, but she'd also be even lonelier than among the Slytherins. She didn't know any of these people she thought as her eyes moved from face to face along her house table. The only one she could match a name to was Scorpius Malfoy.

Oh, and that right next to him was the girl who'd been sorted first. Applegate something, Professor Fortescue had called out. Something posh sounding with A. Ariadne? No, Ashley. Ashley.

Oh, and Hufflepuffs were supposed to be very social. They'd probably expect her to have paid a lot more attention to who was who.

She took the last remaining seat between two complete strangers and smiled. "Hi, I'm Rose."

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