Chapter 2 – The Train Ride
The dark haired daughter of a one-time potions professor and former headmaster of Hogwarts pushed her way down the aisle looking for a compartment that appeared agreeable in its occupants and still had available space. Unfortunately for the young lady, the baby boom that had followed the end of the Second Wizarding War meant that the Hogwarts Express was filled to, and quite frankly beyond, capacity. Nearly an hour after the train had pulled out of the station she had yet to find a seat. Giving up in disgust, she stood in the aisle watching the countryside fly by.
She was still annoyed that her parents had packed her off to boarding school, in Scotland no less. Why her parents had decided to move back to Merry Olde three years earlier defied logic. The food had been much better in France and she could have been a student at Beauxbatons. Even the name of the French magic school was nicer. What kind of idiot named a school Hogwarts? The fashions were also much better at Beauxbatons, pretty uniforms made of blue silk rather than dreary robes. The uniform that she wore underneath her student robes was not an improvement over the outer layer. It wasn't fair. Just because her father had been sent of to boarding school as a kid didn't mean that she had to go. Her mother and aunt hadn't.
"Lovely, just bloody lovely," she muttered as she was shoved up against the window by a group of older students making their way through the carriage.
"Careful," a voice said behind her. "Language like that will lose house points."
She turned to see a cute green-eyed boy that seemed to be about her age.
"Can't take house points off yet," she smirked. "Haven't been sorted."
"Me neither. My name's Albus."
"Minerva. You couldn't find a seat either?"
"Had one but my brother was in the same compartment," he sighed. "He was being a bit of a berk again so I left."
"He keeps telling me that I'm going to be sorted into Slytherin."
"I take it that's a bad thing?"
"It is in my family. Both of my parents were Gryffs and their parents were as well. Plus, all of my uncles and most of my aunts were sorted into Gryffindor." Albus turned to look out the window.
"Which house do you think that you will be sorted into," he asked a few minutes later.
"Definitely not Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff. I'm not a bookworm and blind loyalty isn't what is cracked up to be."
"So Gryffindor or Slytherin?"
"Slytherin, I think because according to Mom I take after Dad. He says I'm my mother's daughter and I'll land in Gryffindor."
The boy's eyes rounded in shock. "A Gryff married a snake?"
Minerva snorted. "No, Dad was sorted into Slytherin but Mom's American so she never went to Hogwarts. Dad's pretty sure that she would have ended in in Gryffindor if she had gone to there though. Mom just laughs and says he should be grateful she didn't wind up in Hogwarts."
"Did she go to Salem?"
"No. My grandparents were Muggles and she didn't find out she was different until she was about fifteen or so."
"She didn't go a magical school once she found out?"
"No, her parents wouldn't believe that she was magical. I think that they locked her up until she said that she had lied about everything," she shrugged. "Not that I was ever officially told mind you because she really doesn't talk much about when she was a kid. I've heard bits and pieces though, especially when my aunt visits."
"That's as bad as what happened to my dad."
"He was raised by Muggles after my grandparents died. They called him a freak and made him sleep in a closet under the stairs. They got really mad if anything magical happened but at least they let him go to Hogwarts."
"Mom's family either ignored magic or came up with other reasons to explain stuff. Mom says that Muggles are really good at not believing anything that can't be explained by science."
"Maybe American Muggles ignore magic but the Ministry here is very careful to hide the our world."
"Oh. So, what happens if you get sorted into Slytherin?"
"My dad said that sometimes you can convince the hat to sort you where you want to go so I'd guess I will try to talk it into putting me into Gryffindor."
"I didn't know you could do that. But if you didn't want to sit near your brother on the train, do you really want to spend the next few years in the same house?"
"You have a point," he grinned. "I'll be sorted into Gryffindor anyway. James is just being James."
"You mean a berk."
"Hey, Albus," a voice called out from the far end of the carriage. "Victorie is threatening to hex me if you don't come back."
"And the berk calleth," Albus said softly.
"I'm busy," Albus replied in a much louder voice before adding quietly, "unless you want to join me, Minerva. There's enough room. Of course, everybody there is a Gryff."
"Are you challenging me?"
"Maybe. My dad said the bravest man he ever knew was a Slytherin."
"Sound like your dad is pretty cool. For a Gryff that is," she amended.
"I'll enter the lions' den. I've always wondered what a berk looks like. Is it anything like a jerk?"