When we left the compartment, I couldn't help but feel confused.
First, why was Rose and Albus so offended when Scorpius called us mudblood? I mean, I knew it wasn't good. I mean, mud and blood. That basically meant dirty blood. But why was having only non-magical ancestry so bad? So what if my parents were muggles?
Second, why did Scorpius act like that? Even his voice sounded a bit haughty, like he was proud of having wizard ancestry.
Lastly, why did he ask if we had wizard blood? It was all too confusing. Then again, almost everything in the wizarding world was confusing to me.
"Rose? Al? What does mudblood mean?" my sister asked.
The cousins looked at each other. Then Rose spoke. "Emily, there's three types of wizarding ancestry. Pure-blood, half-blood, and muggle-born."
"Pure-bloods have only wizarding blood. Ocassionally they can have distant relatives who are married to muggles, but nothing else." Albus explained.
"And there's half-bloods. They have at least a bit of muggle ancestry. We're both half-bloods." Rose continued.
"Ok, so you're both muggle-born. Muggle-born means that both your parents are muggles. Chances are you have an ancestor that was a squib-"
"What's a squib?" I asked.
"A person born to a wizard with no magical power. So, continuing on... muggle-borns-"
But just then, a plump, elderly woman came by pushing a trolley laden with sweets. "Anything from the trolley, dears?"
Albus walked up and bought a stack of sweets, and dumped them on an empty seat. He gestured for us to take some, then continued on. "Alright. No interupptions this time. Muggle-borns are often looked down on by pure-bloods. There are some pure-bloods that are ok with muggles-"
"Those are called blood-traitors. Our family is full of them," Rose said, rolling her eyes.
"Yeah. And pure-bloods hate them. Do you get it now?" Albus finished.
Emily took a package labled "pumpkin pasty", opened it, and took a bite out of it. "Wow," she said, after swallowing the pastry. "That's a little... harsh."
I took a small box clearly labled "Chocolate Frog" and stared at it.
"Uh, earth to Jason? Have you forgot to open a sweet?" she moved over to open the box. "See? Simp- Argh!"
A small, brown frog hopped out, like it was happy to be free. But before it could hop out of the compartment, Rose caught it and dumped it in my hand.
"Thanks!" I said, taking a little off and putting it in my mouth.
Rose took a small package herself and swallowed it whole. I dug around in the box and pulled out a small, pentagonal card.
"That's a chocolate frog card," Rose explained. "You get one in every package of chocolate frogs."
I studied the card. The picture was of a black haired man with startling green eyes. On his lips were a small smile, and his face was full of laugh lines. He had round-rimmed glasses that were slightly battered, like they were extremely old. Directly below the image was the name, "Harry Potter".
"Hey, Al, isn't that your dad?" Emily said, looking at the card.
"Wait... Jason, hand me it?" I handed him the card and waited. "Blimey... it is my dad! It's a rare card. Pretty good luck for your first."
I smiled and tucked the card into my pocket.
A girl raced into the compartment. She had sheets of strawberry blonde hair and calm, silver-blue eyes. "Hey Al. Hey Rose. Train's going to stop in two hours, so you better change."
Albus smiled. "Hey Victoire. Thanks."
The girl smiled back and raced to the next compartment.
"Who's that?" my sister asked.
"That's our cousin, Victoire. She's in her last year."
"And she's right. We'd better change."
My sister walked up to the ragged hat and stool and sat down. My hands were shaking and my forehead was covered with sweat. I was next for the sorting. I wished the button-down shirt and the charcoal grey pants weren't so hot.
The hat spent about 2 minutes sitting on top of her head. Finally, it shouted out, "GRYFFINDOR!"
She put the hat back down, not smiling like the other people who had been sorted previously. Either she was worried that she was not going to be accepted by the other Gryffindors or she didn't want to be sorted into Gryffindor.
My heart froze. God, no. This cannot be happening right now. No. No. No. Why me?
I sat down on the stool and placed the hat on my head with a shaking hand and lept out of my skin. A small voice whispered, "So... Jason Bruen."
What did it just call me? I thought.
"Ahh... I see you are mostly known as Jason Cornerstone. You are... wise. Good material for a Ravenclaw... just, fair...."
Please, I thought. Put me in Gryffindor. I want to be with my sister.
"Gryffindor? Well... you are brave."
I wiped the sweat from my brow, walked over to the Gryffindor table, and sat down next to my sister. She raised her eyebrows at me and stared down at the table.
The sorting continued on. I just continued staring at the ceiling until the professor called out, "Malfoy, Scorpius!"
Scorpius walked up from the line and put the sorting hat down on his head. The sorting hat sat on his head for exactly 10 seconds when it called out, "GRYFFINDOR!" I groaned as he took a spot opposite of me.
After a few minutes, Albus and Rose were both sorted into Gryffindor and the feast had started. I instantly lunged for some chicken pot pie and sat down to eat. Little did I know, the dream that had haunted me for 7 years would return tonight.
The leaves crunched under Ayeden Collins' feet.
He hadn't planned on killing anyone for 16 years, ever since his tenth successful murder that had almost landed him a ticket to Azkaban.
"Lumos," he muttered, and the tip of his wand lit up.
Ayeden stopped at a house and smiled. So this was the Bruen's house.
Serenity Bruen looked out the window. A peaceful, cloudy night. No midnight wake-up calls for Jason and Emily.
The twins were safely tucked in bed. Emily was still, the only movement being a silent, small breath. Jason, on the other hand, was still moving, his legs twitching under the covers, his arms slowly shifting.
Her hand closed over her gold locket. The necklace was meant for Emily, but she had been wearing it ever since she had it inscribed with the letters "Emily B." to protect it. Was it time?
Serenity clasped the locket over her daughter's neck. Emily didn't move, just breathed through her nose, and exhaled with a small puff.
Her nose wrinkled. There was the ever so familiar smell of smoke.
Smoke. That always meant fire.
Serenity's breath became panicky. Then she did something she promised herself never to do.