Genre: Romance, Comedy, Riddle
Pairing(s): George/OC, other fringe pairings
Summary: Have you ever wondered what JK may have had to cut out of 'Order of the Phoenix'? This story works as a companion to OotP and shows a lot of the Weasley twins as well as some of the other characters in Gryffindor House. Andrea is connected to Harry in a way that even he doesn't know about, but it's something that she has to think about every day.
The Hogwarts Express
Disclaimer: I wish that JKR hadn’t stolen all of these ideas from me and published them to universal popularity, reducing me to the ability of mere fan fiction.
Author’s Note: Although JK stole all of the original text from me, I must let you know that this is the stuff she cut out. Think along the lines of Lord of the Rings Extended editions...this fic is like the stuff on the extra discs and the deleted scenes, maybe some alternate endings...I don’t know. I haven’t decided whether or not Sirius will die in my version...Plenty of time to decide that.
Now, everyone open your books to pages 182 and 183, for that is where our tale begins...
“Oh, you two are just growing up so quickly! My gorgeous little baby Andrea in her fifth year!” Mrs. Benning was near tears, saying goodbye to her two children on platform nine and three quarters. It was nearing eleven o’clock, and soon the Hogwarts Express would be steaming away from Kings Cross Station.
“Come now Morgan,” Mr. Benning urged his wife, “They need to board the train. We’ll see them at Christmas.”
Mrs. Benning nodded in agreement, finally resigned it seemed to let her children go. They started to walk away when Mrs. Benning pulled them each back, squeezing them into one last hug. “Roderick, Andrea, you two be careful. Mind you eat your fruits and vegetables. And don’t stay up too late. And make sure to study hard, especially you Andrea, you’ve got O.W.L.s this year. And Roderick, make sure that you wear your scarves and gloves when it gets cold.” She kept on thinking of motherly things to say, almost ready to let them go when she thought of yet something else.
Finally Mr. Benning pried his children from his wife’s arms, winking at them as he shooed them onto the train. Andrea and Roderick laughed once they’d boarded the train. This was nothing out of the ordinary. It had been the same every year they’d left for school. Their mum was always fine until the last moment, and then their father always had to try as hard as he could to get her to let them go.
As the author of this story, I’m going to just step back a moment and give a little background for these characters. I would just leave it to the story, but as Andrea and Roderick are in their last years at Hogwarts, it’s not bound to come up in conversation as it would in their first couple of years.
Andrea was in her fifth year, and Roderick was in his sixth. Though Roderick was a year older, and Andrea was adopted, it didn’t have any impact on the intensely close friendship they shared. Of course they annoyed each other in that way that only siblings can, but for the most part they stuck together, and Roderick was the only one that new everything about Andrea’s past. Most people didn’t even know that Andrea had been adopted into the Benning’s family. They shared a striking resemblance: jet black hair, intensely hazel eyes, and similar noses and complexions.
One of their fellow Gryffindor’s, Lee Jordan walked past them on the way to some compartment further up the train and they greeted each other briefly. “Did you see Potter’s wicked dog? Take a look, he’s out there on the platform still.”
Andrea and Roderick looked out the window, both of their jaws dropping. “I can’t believe he came out here in broad daylight,” Andrea whispered quietly to Roderick. “Doesn’t he know what a huge risk he’s taking?”
Roderick merely shrugged when Andrea turned to him. Next moment, they were pounced on by Edward Abercrombie who slung an arm around each of their shoulders. “Hey Bennights!” He was smiling as he used his term that referred to Roderick and Andrea together. “It’s been a long two weeks since I’ve seen you. Hey, did Lynch get his arm patched up after that nasty fall during our match?” They nodded. At the end of Edward’s week long stay with the Bennings over the summer, Lynch, Troy, Mullet and Moran had come by for dinner with some of the other Irish Quidditch players and they’d all gone out for a quick match. Troy had been knocked off his broom by a bludger and broken his arm.
Andrea and Roderick’s father, Walter Benning, was the head of the English and Irish Quidditch League, so having professional Quidditch players over for dinner wasn’t out of the ordinary for the Bennings.
“Andrea do you mind if I steal Roderick away?”
“Please Ed, nothing would make me happier,” feigned a look of desperation.
“Oh, come off it,” Roderick laughed.
“You come off it,” Andrea retorted. “I’ve been stuck with you all day everyday for the whole of the summer holidays!”
“Which is exactly why it’s time for the best time of the whole year! Sixth year Gryffindor male bonding!” Edward beamed with pride.
“Yes, the time of year where you and your fellow dorm mates try and outdo your records from last year for the most sweets consumed from the trolley.”
“Exactly! And Exploding Snap. Don’t forget, lots of Exploding Snap.”
“Right,” Andrea couldn’t help but laugh as they ran down the corridor, nearly knocking over some petrified second years. It was good to be going back to Hogwarts.
It only took her a few minutes to find the compartment she was looking for. When she slid the glass door open, she was greeted by Dean Thomas, Seamus Finnigan, and Sophie Smethwyck. Sophie and Andrea had been best friends from the moment they bumped into each other looking for a compartment on the Hogwarts Express their very first year. Dean and Seamus were in the midst of a game of Exploding Snap, and Andrea quickly seated herself to watch. Sophie was in the corner, a few rolls of parchment on her lap as well as her book for History of Magic. Sophie had bewitched her bottle of ink to sprout wings and hover conveniently for her to dip her quill into.
The three others knew not to bother Sophie while she was busy scribbling away on a piece of parchment. Sophie was the fifth, and youngest, of five children born to Hippocrates and Ellen Smethwyck. Hippocrates was a healer in the Dai Llewellyn Ward at St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. All four of Sophie’s older sisters had grown up and become, or were at the time in training to become, healers at St. Mungo’s as well. There was nothing Sophie wanted more than to join the ranks of the Smethwycks at St. Mungo’s. Sophie had planned out her entire future when she was only nine, and she didn’t only want to succeed, she wanted to squash any and all competition while she did it. Sophie was nice, but she always wanted to be the best, and so they knew that it wasn’t wise to interrupt her while she was studying.
They were a good hour and a fair few pumpkin pasties into their trip when Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger walked past the open door to their compartment, waving hello and inquiring about summers all around. After their footsteps had fallen away, Sophie took her ink bottle and threw it across the compartment, smashing it against the wall. Andrea, Seamus and Dean jumped and fell silent, looking around at Sophie, who had tears in her eyes. The boys jumped up and said they were in dire need of some pumpkin juice and needed to go find the Trolley Lady, leaving Andrea alone to deal with Sophie.
Andrea stood and closed the door to their compartment. She turned around and looked at her best friend for a moment, whose tears had started to spill over. “Sophie, darling, I don’t think they were looking to give the walls of this compartment a new coat of paint at the moment. You didn’t even do a good job of it.”
Sophie gave a weak laugh, laying aside her book, quill, and parchment.
Andrea pointed her wand at the wall, “Scourgify.” She sat across from her friend. She didn’t ask Sophie to explain herself, she didn’t need to. Sophie knew that’s what Andrea wanted, and Andrea knew that Sophie would spill her feelings when she was willing.
“I didn’t think I’d care this much,” the words spilled forth, as did more tears. “I mean, I like Hermione. She’s nice, but. . . .”
“You didn’t want her to be Prefect.”
“No! Do you know how many school rules she’s broken? How many times she’s snuck out of Gryffindor Tower after hours?”
“Well, we do share the same room, so I can take a fair guess about how often she’s left it at night. What’s your guess? More or less than three million?” Andrea speculated.
Generally Andrea knew her best friend to be a rather confident girl, and very sure of herself. The one thing that seemed to be an eternal thorn in Sophie’s side, and could frustrate her, annoy her, anger her, and as was evident at this moment, send her into tears was Hermione Granger. Hermione managed to always edge her way just past Sophie and be the best at everything the two both took a stab at.
“I mean, I guess I should have expected it. She is top of our class and the favorite of almost all the teachers. I just hoped that maybe I would get the letter that said I was Prefect.”
Andrea didn’t say anything, but simply listened while Sophie expressed her feelings.
“All of my sisters have been Prefects and then gone on to be the Head Girl in their last year. I just hoped that maybe I’d show up today and one of the other Prefects would come and find me and ask me why I wasn’t in the Prefect meeting, if maybe I’d missed my letter and didn’t know that it was me. Not Hermione.” She wiped the tears from her face.
“You know, you still could be Head Girl. Not all Heads have been Prefects-”
Sophie cut her off. “I don’t want to talk about it anymore. Hermione will always beat me in everything. I’m not going to hold on to some false hope of there being a possibility I could be Head Girl. Hermione is always the best.”
“Sophie, do you remember our first year?”
“Of course I remember our first year.”
“Then surely you must remember,” she continued, “That Hermione was dismal on a broomstick.”
Sophie couldn’t help the smile spreading across her face.
“She was absolutely dreadful at flying!”
“I guess you’re right, but I’m not much better.”
“Hey, but you do admit that you are better than her at something. At least you got off the ground,” the two laughed. “Now what essay are you working on last minute?” Andrea reached across to look at the rolls of parchment.
“No, don’t, I’m not finished. I’m still revising. I’ve got to keep working on it,” she sputtered.
Sure enough, there was the first draft of an essay on medieval witch burning, and another, final draft, but in between the two there was another roll that made Andrea’s jaw drop. Sophie put a hand over her face, dreading the outcome of Andrea’s discovery. The middle roll of parchment had a few sketches, which wasn’t unusual as Sophie liked to draw a bit to clear her head; but there was also a name written with a flourish and a few embellishments here and there across it as well. It was Roderick’s name.
“Sophie,” Andrea exclaimed, raising her eyebrows, and trying not to smile too widely, “am i right in the assumption that you fancy my brother?”
Sophie groaned and covered her face in embarrassment.
“Oh come on, it’s not that terrible. It’s actually quite a good match I think. My brother and my best friend. . . .” Andrea mused. She pretended to think over all of the ramifications and then pronounced, “Yes it is a smart match, you’ll make an excellent sister-in-law, but I’m a bit surprised at you. You’ve always been so focused, no time for romance in your life’s plan that I know of. I’m pleased in this change, mind you, but a bit surprised.”
“Well,” Sophie deduced, “now that I don’t have all the obligations of being a Prefect, I guess that leaves me some spare time.”
The two broke into a fit of giggles; Dean and Seamus, unbeknownst to the girls, were about to come back into the compartment, after taking a walk about, but heard the giggling and knew it could only mean one thing: girl talk. They decided against joining the now rather giddy girls and went off again.
Fifteen minutes later, Sophie gave another groan, wishing that Andrea hadn’t found out, as she had now planned her future marriage to Roderick, as well as the names of all their children and was getting started on how each of their careers would comply with their familial obligations.
“Look, I’ve got to finish my essay,” Sophie stated, taking her set of parchments back from Andrea.
“All right, Mrs. Benning,” she teased.
“All right,” she rolled her eyes.
“Accio ‘Quidditch Through The Ages,’” Andrea muttered. The well-worn green book shot out of her trunk, whose lid popped open to allow it to leave, and Andrea settled across the cushioned seats, flipping through the book.
It wasn’t too long before Sophie went and changed into her robes. When she came back to the compartment, she sat down and watched Andrea. Her eyes were no longer skimming across the page, and she seemed hardly to have noticed Sophie was back. She gave a mixture of a heavy and whimsical sigh.
“You’re not reading anymore,” Sophie said quietly.
“Yeah, I’m sort of finished for now I suppose.”
“A bit bored. How long until we get there?” Andrea sat up and set Quidditch Through The Ages aside.
“Who is he?”
“What? Who is who?” Andrea was taken aback.
“The boy you’re thinking about. It’s a different sort of feeling this time around isn’t it?”
“Yes, I think it is,” Andrea blushed slightly. “You know me too well.”
Sophie just looked at her, waiting for further information.
“George Weasley,” she admitted.
“Merlin’s beard! One of the Trouble Twins? Since when?” Sophie queried, moving across the compartment to sit right next to Andrea.
“Since - I don’t know, all summer. . . .” she reported.
“And you didn’t tell me?” Sophie squealed, whacking Andrea with one of her rolls of parchment.
“Ow! Sophie, someone will hear you!” Andrea whispered.
“Okay, okay,” she said, in a much quieter voice. “I guess I didn’t up and tell you about Roderick either.”
“Exactly. Besides, it’s not like anything will happen there. He’s in his seventh year, and he’s no, well, no Cedric, but he’s still got a string of girls who worship him, even if he’s too busy stirring up trouble with Fred and Lee to notice any of it.”
She stopped, realizing two things: one, that she had begun to ramble; two, that Sophie had a silly grin on her face. Sophie looked like she was about to share her opinion, but Andrea was glad to be saved from it for now with the reappearance of Dean and Seamus, who’d also brought along Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil. The whole group talked and laughed, catching up what had transpired over the summer, some of them occasionally going along to other compartments to see other friends so that Sophie and Andrea didn’t have a chance to speak privately again for the rest of the train ride.