Hogwarts Express slowly left the station, and Pen Potter felt the sting from the tears that welled in her eyes. She would not cry. Pen never cried. The goodbye she had with Uncle Remus on the platform was a bittersweet affair. While she was excited to attend Hogwarts, she would miss her quietly affectionate guardian. She wanted to see the place he met her parents and Uncle Sirius. Their misadventures as students were tales the normally solemn Pen loved to hear on her birthdays and holidays. Uncle Remus could not bear to speak of his dear friends frequently.
As Pen grew the more aware she became of her uncle’s deep melancholy and pain, but there was no doubt in Pen’s mind that Uncle Remus loved her. She sniffled and held back the tears that threatened to escape at the thought of Uncle Remus alone in their quaint cottage. How would he get on without her? She had to get a grip. With a controlled breath, Pen resolved to write weekly.
Pushing back those thoughts, Pen looked down at the wand she twirled in her hands. Ebony and dragon heartstring, 12 ¼” and supple according to Mr. Ollivander. Finally, she could perform the magic she could swear was thrumming in her, just itching to be unleashed. More than anything else, Pen wanted to be the worthy legacy of her James and Lily Potter. She wanted to learn all Hogwarts could offer. Uncle Remus said she took after her mum. The sentiment warmed and saddened her in equal measure. She wanted to be a witch her parents could be proud of had they the capacity to be cognizance of such things. Who would James and Lily Potter be if they hadn’t tortured to madness due a traitor? A spike of anger and Pen clutched her wand with sudden ferocity. Pen was determined to never be so helpless as she was when--
The door to the compartment slammed open. Pen was startled from her brooding by an explosion of noise and sparks as two identical boys clamored in with their trunks. The tail end of fireworks left a trail of smoke as it whizzed down the corridor. One of them used his foot to kick the door shut.
“Oi, look at this, Fred, another Weasley cousin?” one of the boys asked the other.
“Ah yes, George, I do spy red locks!” exclaimed Fred as he peered at Pen. Eyes slightly wide, Pen opened her mouth to introduce herself.
“Crimson curls, not so gorgeous as ours though,” said George sagely.
“Quite right, my dear Fred,” apparently-not-George said. “Though our supposed cousin here does pull off the tousled look well enough.”
Pen closed her mouth to frown slightly and look between the two. True, all three had red coloring, but Pen’s auburn locks much darker than the twin’s shock of nearly orange hair. Her hair had always been wild, and only recently had Pen cut it shorter than she’d ever had. Not only was it much easier to manage, but the boyish cut felt more comfortable than long hair ever did. For all the inconvenience that came with nearly unmanageable hair, Pen would never wish away this resemblance to her dad.
“I take after my dad James Potter. My name is Pen,” she said bluntly.
“Pen Potter, eh? The name’s George Weasley. This unfortunate-looking bloke is Fred,” said the boy who kicked the door shut. The two worked in tandem to hoist their trunks onto the racks.
“Oi, I’m George and this is Fred,” the other boy said with a jerk of his thumb towards his brother. “Mind if we join you? Percy’ll be nightmare all the way to Hogwarts.” The two made themselves comfortable on the seat opposite Pen.
Pen snorted as she looked the boys comfortably settling in for the long ride. “Please, do make yourselves at home. But tell me who is who or you’ll have to suffer with this Percy,” she joked with a slight smile.
The boys looked at each other and grinned at her. “This one sure drives a hard bargain. Knowing us two seconds and already holding Percy over our heads. Worse than Ginny, I bet,”said the boy on her left said the last part to his brother. With a bow as low as his sitting position would allow, he said, “Fred Weasley.”
Presumably George on her right copied his brother and said, “George Weasley. You can tell me apart from this ape with my dashing good looks and charming personality.”
Looking closely at the twins, Pen Potter was determined to keep the two straight. “Right, who is Percy, then? And why is he so threatening?”
George started “Percy is our brother. Third year--”
“In Gryffindor. Bit stuffy and the only way he threatens us--”
“Is by being a stuffy prat and trying lecture--”
“Us into ‘taking our futures seriously as--’”
“‘We take our first steps towards--’”
“‘Academic excellence’” they finish together.
Pausing a bit to keep track of their dialogue, Pen asked, “I take it you lot don’t have much in common. Is it just the three of you at Hogwarts? Isn’t it a bit easier to have an older brother?”
“Nah. We have Charlie--”
“He's in Gryffindor. Sixth year”
“Fancies dragons more than birds, if you know what I mean.”
“And Bill but he’s no longer with us,” Fred solemnly shook his head.
“In a better place, Bill,” George looked out the window wistfully then looked back at Pen. “In Egypt, that is.”
“Right, he’s a Cursebreaker with Gringotts.”
“Then there’s ickle Ronnikins.”
“But he’s nine.”
“And lastly wee Ginny.”
Amused by the twins’ antics, Pen let out a quiet huff of laughter. “Your house must be a riot. It’s just me and my Uncle Remus. Not exactly the chatterbox types,” she said wryly.
Pen wasn’t used to dealing with many people. Uncle Remus’s condition and unsteady employment didn’t allow much socializing for him or exposure to other adults for her. But Pen would choose Uncle Remus over any other adult every time. Normally, her quiet disposition put her off to other children and adults. Instead, Pen spent more time at the magical library in Godric’s Hollow or traipsed through the forest surrounding their cottage on her own adventures. This left Pen with only Caspian, the snowy owl she received on her eleventh birthday, as her friend. On the platform, Uncle Remus only had one request of her while at Hogwarts: to make trustworthy friends. Emphasis on trustworthy.
“Not to worry, dear Pen.”
“Nope. Not that one.” Pen interrupted with her wand pointed at them threateningly, the spark of mischief alive in her green eyes. “I reckon you two wouldn’t want this compartment to have only one head of red hair, do you? Don’t call me Penelope.” The twins raised their hands in surrender to her wand.
“Definitely worse than Ginny,” George stage whispered to Fred.
“Right, mighty Pendragon--”
“Acceptable.” Pen approved with a nod and smirk.
“Not to worry. We shall chatter enough for the three of us!” Fred smiled and indicated to himself and George with a flourish and started, “For pranks and jokes--”
“We’re your blokes,” finished George. "We've loads of ideas, ya know. Some day we're going to blow Zonko's away."
"Beyond dungbombs, whizzing worms, or stink pellets!"
"Hogwarts won't know what hit her!"
Good humor sparkled in their eyes. Pen believed them. Her earlier moodiness had all but vanished in the presence of the twins. Pen was not sure about auras in the magical world--she would have to look it up in the library--but there was something about the twins that lifted her spirits. Pen’s normally quiet and solemn demeanor cracked when faced with Fred and George Weasleys’ joyful fun. Pen was pulled in by the promise of fun. Pen felt like she was finding a piece she of herself she didn’t even know had been missing.
Fred and George communicated with look. They could sense a kindred spirit willing and ready behind Pen’s serious exterior.
“Pranks and jokes, eh? Ever heard of the Marauders?”