“Anything from the trolley dears?” Rose looked up from her journal at a sweet old voice. She dug into her pocket to find some sickles. Staring at the assortment of sweets, she heard a soft, young voice
“You don’t have any Skittles by any chance, do you?” She glanced over and saw a small girl, she was still holding all of her bags in her hands. Rose wondered at her question. She’d only heard of Skittles a few times, they seemed to be a popular Muggle treat.
“The Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans are a bit like Skittles” The trolley woman replied. He girl nodded, and then took out a small handful of coins.
“Sorry, I don’t understand this money yet, could you help me?” This time, the question was directed at Rose. She reached over and took out the amount needed.
“Thanks.” The girl turned, and started to walk away, her cloak dragging behind her.
“Wait! Do you want to sit with me?” Rose blurted the question out. The girl turned back, surprised. Her chestnut brown hair fell over one eye, but it couldn’t hide her happiness. She quickly strode towards Rose, and followed her into the compartment.
“Who’s that Rose?” James asked. He and Albus looked up from their own pile of sweets.
“This is…” Rose paused, realizing that she did not know the girls name. “Erm…”
“Penny, my name is Penny” The girl looked at the pile of treats that the boys had in front of them. Her eyes grew wide.
“Whoa. I’ve never seen sweets like these before! I rarely get sugary stuff at home, and when I do, it is nothing like this stuff! My Dad’s really strict on candy, something about eating too much will make you big, I don’t know. That’s why I wanted Skittles, I only ever got those at sleepovers. But now I have these jelly bean kind of things… Do they come with a map of flavours or something?” Penny looked up, breathless. She turned slightly pink and apologized.
“Its alright, no worries.” Albus quickly replied “We’ve got a younger sister at home who never stops talking!” He grinned, and Penny smiled back.
The small group spent the rest of the train ride playing card games. Rose taught Penny how to play exploding snap, and she taught her a muggle card game called “Slap”. Rose was sure that she had found a great new friend.
The train slowly came to a stop, and James hopped off before the others. He turned back as they clambered off.
“You three go and find Hagrid now. He’s the big tall bloke, can’t miss him!” James turned and went with the flow of students. The three first years looked around, and sure enough, there was a huge man standing at the end of the platform, calling
“Firs’ Years, over here! Firs’ Years!” Rose swallowed her nervousness and led the way through the crowd. As they reached Hagrid, he readily gave Rose and Albus a hug.
“Can’t wait to see the sorting tonight! So many new students! The boats are almost filled, jus’ a few more after you two.”
“Two..?” Rose replied, and she glanced around. Sure enough, Penny was nowhere to be seen. Rose hurried back towards the train, and caught a glimpse of her behind a pillar.
“What are you doing back here? The boats are going to leave without us!” Rose pulled on her friend’s arm, but Penny wouldn’t budge.
“I'm scared. What if they don't let me in after all?” She replied, she looked truly frightened.
“Penny, don't worry! My Mum's a muggle born, and everybody I meet tells me how she was the brightest witch of her age. Now come on!” Rose yanked, and Penny followed, though very reluctantly.
The first years had only just all sat down in the boats as they pushed away from the shore. Penny bent over the back end of the boat she was sharing with Rose and Albus, looking puzzled.
“Where’s the motor? I don’t understand how this is moving without a motor!” Rose chuckled, she knew what the rough idea of a motor was because of her Grandpa Weasley.
“There’s no motor,” She replied “This is Hogwarts, it’s running on magic!” Penny looked pleasantly surprised, and then giggled like a small child.
Rose stood stock still as Professor McGonagall strode towards the front of the Great Hall. She hadn’t heard a single phrase of the Sorting Hat’s song. Her mind was turning in circles. She had to be Gryffindor, she just had to be! She looked beside her and saw Penny wringing her hands. Penny looked back, and they both smiled.
Professor McGonagall unrolled a piece of parchment
"When I call your name, you will put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted,” She said
“Annad, Timothy” A young, dark skinned boy scurried up to the seat, his curly hair stuck up under the sorting hat when McGonagall placed it onto his head.
“HUFFLEPUFF!” The hat shouted. Rose turned her head, and watched the boy hurry over to the table on the right.
Name after name was called, Rose felt Penny leave her side, and was excited to see that she was sorted into Gryffindor. Now Rose wanted to be in Gryffindor all the more.
Finally, Professor McGonagall called
“Weasley, Rose” Rose stepped up to the three legged stool, and gingerly sat down. The hat was placed slowly on her head, and she took a deep breath.
“GRYFFINDOR!” Rose pulled of the sorting hat and jumped up happily. She nearly skipped all the way to the Gryffindor table, and squeezed in beside Penny. The two girls hugged each other happily, whispering their congratulations until one of the Prefects shushed them.
Rose looked up. It was nearly Albus’ turn. She pulled her hands inside her sleeve and crossed her fingers.
“Potter, Albus” Rose watched as he slowly trekked up to the stool. The hat had not even touched his head, when it loudly exclaimed
“I can’t believe it, I simply can’t believe it!” Rose grinned at Penny.
“Neither can I, honestly.” Rose looked around her.
“Its so much food!” Rose nodded, and leaned back on her hands. Penny did the same, and they shared a contented sigh.
Rose felt a tap on her shoulder, and she straightened up. It was James.
“ ‘Scuse me, but is it true?” The question was directed at Penny. Rose looked back at James, perplexed.
“Is that really your name?” James said.
“Wait, I missed something – what’s your last name Penny?” Rose quickly interjected.
“I’m Penny. Penny Dursley.”