This chapter introduces most of the main characters, giving a feel of Melina, her family and her life, providing more of a background chapter, before the story develops further.
I turned over and mumbled into my pillow, "Go away and let me sleep, Mum!"
"Come on, Miss Melina Potter," (Oh yeah, that's my name) "Get out of bed, or you'll be late for the train station..." She said with a smile.
"Train?!?!" I said bolting up in bed. "YES!" I exclaimed suddenly awake and excited. Today was the day we went back to Hogwarts, school of witchcraft and wizardry, after the summer holidays, for another year!!! Although I missed home, I loved the time all we students spend there. It's so fun! Especially with all my cousins! I had somewhere around twenty cousins... (Well actually twenty-three exactly) My mum, was Ginny Weasley before she married my dad, so I had loads of uncles from her side, even if my dad, Harry Potter (the famous boy who lived and all that annoying rubbish, he's an auror now anyway) was an only child. My parents, had five children. Me being the youngest and only girl, but my mum's brothers had had loads of children as well. My twin uncles Fred and George had five kids each, my Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione; four, my uncle Charlie had three, and my uncle Bill and aunt Fleur had six! (We don't have any contact with Uncle Percy anymore, but last I heard he was a bachelor with no children...) I'm not even going to try and explain all their names and genders, because I'll be here for ages, but I will say the names and genders of the ones still at hogwarts, including my siblings. Well, I have four brothers, Leo, Sean, James and Nathaniel, but only Nat (now sixth year) and James (now seventh year) are still at hogwarts. I have four cousins who are the children of Uncle Ron and Hermione, but only two, Patrick (now seventh year) and Jenny (now fifth year), are still at hogwarts. Uncle Bill and Aunt Fleur's youngest daughter is still at hogwarts and she's called Christina (now second year). One of Uncle Fred's two sets of twins, May and Mimi (now fifth years). And lastly, Uncle George's twins, Devlin and Drake (now sixth years). The ten of us together, were sort of the Weasley/Potter gang, even though not all of us had the last name Weasley, and James and Nat (black hair on account of dad), and Devlin and Drake(brown hair, on account of their mother) were not redheads. However, we all ended up with green eyes, and we had all kept the tradition of being gryffindors, so either way we had stuff in common. Actually... Come to think of it... I don't think anyone in the Weasley or Potter families, had ever been in any other house...
I jumped out of bed and zoomed around getting dressed in my muggle-type clothes, put my wand in my pocket, grabbed my cat basket with Snow (my snowy white kitten) inside, and pulled my trunk all the way downstairs. Stowing everything in the corner, for Dad to pack into the carboot, I slumped down into a chair at the kitchen table, and ravenously ate my breakfast.
James and Nat looked at me as if I was some kind of mad hatter. They looked just like dad... it was sorta scary... glasses, emerald green eyes, floppy jet black hair, and tall and lanky. I was a complete contrast to them, with my red auburn hair and short slim stature inherited from mum. The only looks we had alike, were the eyes and facial features... but luckily I escaped the bad sight, so I wouldn't be needing glasses anytime soon! cue evil cackle =P
Many people commented that I looked like my mum, a regular weasley, it had been said. So I suppose it wasn't so strange considering I didn't look much like Dad, and Nat and James didn't look much like Mum. Nat and James always got up early... They were early birds, but me... I... heh heh heh... I'm more of a Night owl myself... ^^
After Breakfast, we all headed out to the car, and dad packed up the boot with James' and Nat's help. Mum and I sat in the car while they did so. She was in the front seat, and I in the back. Once they'd finished and we had driven to King's Cross station, Dad parked the car and we all got out with our belongings. Dad and Mum walked us to the point in between Station 9 and 10, with their arms around eachother's waists (God it's embarrassing when parents show their affection for one another publicly, isn't it?), and they smiled in remembrance of their times they had spent running through the wall. (Hogwarts have a sick sense of humour to make us run through walls. Maybe it's some sort of test to see if you believe in magic enough...) We all did the usual hugging and kissing of farewells to the parents before rushing through the wall, to station Nine and Three Quarters. (Nine and three quarters? I mean, come on/... Why not just call it Nine and a half, and be done with it... Gosh, we witches and wizards just /love drama don't we.)
Anyways, as I was saying, once we got through, we loaded our stuff into the storage compartments, and headed off to our usual train compartment near the end of the train. As we entered it we found the seven other members of the Weasley/Potter gang, and in the midst of all the yellings of hi, hello, what's up, etc, my best friends and I, but also cousins, May, Mimi and Jenny, hugged eachother in greeting. We were sort of a gang inside a gang, because we were the only fifth years of the ten of us, and since we were all family and gryffindors anyway, we spent a lot of time together.
Well... The train ride was mostly uneventful, except for the fun we all had when the food trolley came by with the chocolate frogs and other foods. It was still kind of weird seeing my Dad on a chocolate frog card even after all these years since he had defeated Voldemort... We all began the plotting of pranks, and possible escapes from classes too. Since my Uncles Fred and George owned a string of Joke shops, they were now quite rich, and Devlin, Drake, Mimi, and May had unlimited access to all their parents' inventions... and were encouraged by Uncle Fred and Uncle George to prank the teachers... Uncle Fred and Uncle George were famous for their last trick they pulled before leaving Hogwarts in their sixth year... They hadn't worked at all that year on school work... only on their joke shop inventions and testing them on the students... Many a rainy day had gone by when all of the extended Potter and Weasley family were together, and the stories of our parents' days at hogwarts unfolded. Even our Grandpa and Grandma, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Weasley, had details and stories to add about our parents. Now that Voldemort has been dead and finished for over a decade, people feel more free to speak his name, but many of the effects of the evil things he did still linger now... Just like when my dad's parents, Lily and James Potter were killed, and my dad's Godfather Sirius Black too... Now the Black line was completely ended. I wish I could have met Sirius perhaps when he had been okay and not a bit loopy, as we were told he had seemed to become before he was murdered.
James turned from looking out of the window, and being submerged in his thoughts, probably contemplating his headboyship he had received over the summer, and said wryly; "As much fun as all these schemes sound, I don't think I can be involved with them."
Everyone looked at him with their mouths gaping open. One of the gang deserting?
He quickly spoke before someone accused him of desertion, "Look, I'm not deserting you or tattling on you, but I have more responsibilites than last year. I won't tell anyone about your pranks and I don't want to leave the gang, but I'll have to distance myself from the plotting and hope I don't get blamed for it." This coming from the unofficial leader of the gang? No! He couldn't desert us... He was one of the best at making up schemes. "But, James-" I said quickly trying to persuade him to change his mind, but he cut me off.
"No buts Melina. I am really sorry everyone, but I'm going to have to pass the leadership on to another member of the gang. I honestly can't behave like I used to, now that i'm bloody head boy, and I do have my NEWTS this year. I really am sorry, everyone, and if you want to chuck me out of the gang, then you can."
There was an awkward silence for a few moments. This certainly put a dampener on things. It wouldn't be the same without James plotting with us. Now that he was Head Boy, he'd have to spend more time with other things and less with us... but he was still my big brother, everyone else's cousin and one of the best leaders we'd ever had in the gang. All the gang members glanced at eachother before we ran into and jumped on top of him, ruffling his hair, and falling into a big pile with James at the bottom making muffled suffocating sounds. Everyone got up quickly once we realised he probably couldn't breathe. "Look, James, I know that you'll always be a member of the gang, even if you have other responsibilities now, and I presume everyone else feels the same way?" I said looking round the train compartment, while everyone else nodded vigorously and exclaimed things along the lines of 'yeah!' or 'Yes of course!'
"Yes, that's true," Patrick said, his green eyes twinkling, then continued what he was saying, "I know what you mean about the bloody NEWTS, mate, remember I've got the bloody things too. So I think Leadership should go to one of our sixth year members."
James nodded and pulled the Marauders map out of his pocket. "Drake? Dev? Nat? Do you want to organise this among yourselves? Remember being gang leader is a lot of work, we all have to protect the girls from the jerks and those mucky slytherins as well, not to mention organising the details of the pranks. Is one of you up for it?"
Nat, Dev and Drake, were backing away from the discussion stealthily, trying to get away from the decision and hard work before them...
"Hey!" We all exclaimed and surrounded them. "One of you has to do it!"
Nat, Dev and Drake looked at us pleadingly, "But... But... Do we have to?"
"Yes!" we all said at once in reply.
"Aww... come on..." Nat said. "We have our NEWTS next year and we just did our OWLS and you're saddling us with this?"
"Yeah!" Dev said. "This isn't fair! We should be able to have some fun!"
Drake looked around at everyone before he spoke, "Well..." he said heavily. "One of us does have to do it... Christina is too young..."
"Hey, I resent that!" She interrupted loudly.
"But you are." He replied before continuing. "Christina is too young, Jenny, Melina, May and Mimi are doing their OWLS this year, and as Patrick and James have already explained fully to us, they have NEWTS and James has Head Boy responsibilities. They are right you know."
Dev and Nat glanced evilly at eachother before staring at Drake.
"No..." he said. "NO WAY! I am NOT being Gang leader!!! No way!!! One of you two can!!!"
Feeling that this discussion had gone on way too long, I broke in with, "Well lets vote on it then. All in favour of Drake as Gang Leader, Raise your hand!" There was a unanimous vote missing just Drake's hand. "There." I said and we all grinned at Drake. "Settled."
James stepped up to him and handed him the marauder's map.
"Oh crap." Drake muttered, putting the marauders map in his pocket. "/Fine./ I'm the new leader of the Weasley/Potter gang. Happy now?" Everyone nodded vigorously with evil grins on our faces. He sighed, then grinned and said to Nat and Dev, "You two will have to help, you know, as /gang leader/, I order it."
They shook their heads and grinned back. "Nope. You're on your own here, mate."
"Hey! Nat, you're my cousin, and Dev, you're my twin brother, and you lads won't even HELP me? This is really really really cheap!" he looked at us authoratively, slipping into the role of gang leader quite easily. "Well, we're almost at hogwarts now, so we may as well go and get changed. See you in a few minutes everyone." Drake said before leaving the compartment.
I gasped. Had we really been talking so long? Everyone left our compartment to go and get changed into the Hogwarts robes except James who had changed when he first got on the train and had his Head Boy badge pinned on his robes. He would stay in the compartment and make sure none of the despicable Slytherins came in and messed around with our belongings. As I dressed, I began to wonder who was the new head girl? I wondered if I knew her...