The Order of Things

Chapter 4

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter

Summer's End

After Charlie's departure, the rest of the summer passes in a whirlwind. Within that period, Percy revised his homework an abundant amount of times. Ron flew around on Bill's old broom as much as Mum would allow. Ginny complained to anyone who'd listen about how unfair it was that she wasn't allowed to go to Hogwarts. While Fred, George, and I secluded ourselves in the boys' bedroom.

We had many conversations pertaining to the ever-daunting future. The majority of them revolving around one specific topic; what the bloody hell are we supposed to do about Scabbers?

"I say we just kill him". Fred said. "In rat form, it shouldn't be that hard". Committing homicide is what all three of us revert to when we get frustrated and still can't come to a decision.

"We can't kill him," said George.

"If we did Sirius Black will never get the chance to be proven innocent". I finish for George.

"Not to mention we'd be murderers" Fred concludes. And there lies the major problem. Do we kill one person to prevent a war? Or do we stick to our moral code? Fred crosses his arms from where he is sitting on the floor of his and George's room. His right cheek is puffed out to suggest extreme contemplation. "I just don't like it that a death eater is sleeping in our little brother's room". The day after Percy got Hermes, he gifted Ron the old rat. And since then, Pettigrew had been living in Ron's room.

"Me neither," George and I said at the same time. George is standing with his back up against the door to prevent it from opening. It's his turn to stand guard. It wouldn't do for anyone to barge in and realize that we are plotting the demise of a supposed family pet. We may not be able to kill Pettigrew, but we are definitely disposing of Scabbers.

"What did Scabbers do?" George asked. "I mean, in the future, what will he do?"

I blow hair out of my face as I lie stomach down on Fred's bed. What does Wormtail do after the third book? "Umm," I said as I collected my thoughts. "After he escapes in Ron's third year he'll go to Albania and find the left-overs of you-know-who. He'll take the left-overs back to the UK. And at the end of Ron's fourth year, he'll use Harry's blood, a stolen bone from a grave, and his hand to return you-know-who to a fully-abled body form". I said, pondering over how short that list is. Does he do anything else?

"His hand?" Fred asked, seeking clarity.

"Yup," I said popping the P. "He cuts off his hand to revive you-know-who".

"Blimey", George comments, his face turning a bit green. But he composes himself quickly enough. "What if" George starts to say, throwing out another idea. "we cut off Scabbers' front paws and then expose him Dumbledore at the start of term? Thant way Black will have a chance to be set free and if Scabbers does escape he won't have any hands to sacrifice. He won't even be able to use a wand".

I roll the idea around in my head. It's not a bad idea. It would kill two birds with one stone; prevent or at least stall the return of the dark lord, and prove Sirius Black innocent. Of course, that plan involves the three of us mutilating someone. I wiggle a hand between my stomach and Fred's mattress, palm up. I touch one of the places Jessie was stabbed. Could I go through with that? Could I hurt someone? Disfigure them after knowing what it's like? I'm not sure I would be willing to let Fred and George do it either.

Fred shakes his head before I do. "No. We wouldn't be able to explain how we knew Scabbers was actually a man".

"But we should do something". I said, trying to keep the wheels turning. We'll board the Hogwarts express tomorrow. And who knows if we will be able to plan like this at school.

George nods. "I've been sleeping with one eye open since Jolly Holly told us about the rodent. To think that someone who killed twelve muggles is living in Arthur Weasley's house". George tucks his chin down as if the thought is adding extra weight to his head. "Dad would have a fit if he knew". We take a moment of silence to deal with the serious feeling of the situation. "And I thought having a ghoul in our attic was bad enough".

"Merlin Holls", Fred broke in, as if a thought had just occurred to him. "Scabbers has been living with our families for about ten years. We were three when Percy found him. And you've known all this time!" Fred gives me an incredulous look. "How have you not gone batty?"

Still lying stomach down on Fred's bed, I pick up my head to look at him. It's a valid question. When we were three, I was in an oscillating state of panic, boredom, and elation. On one hand, a mass murderer was living in my older brother's room. On the other hand, I was a twenty-five-year-old woman trapped in the body of a three-year-old. Pettigrew moving in was one of the most terrifying things to happen in my new life, but at least it was exciting. Overall, however; I was elated. What self-respecting Harry Potter fan wouldn't be if they got a second chance at life and got to spend said life with the Weasleys?

"Hang on," said George as he shoots me an accusing look. "We were three. Wasn't that the age when you'd throw a fit every time Mum would make you sleep in your own bed?" Well, crap. I didn't think he'd remember that.

"Yeah", Fred recalls. Damn, they have good memories. "And you would only calm down when Dad caved and let you sleep in their bed with them".

Both of them stare me down, wanting an explanation. "At the time," I said very slowly. I don't think there's a way to phrase this any differently. "Mum and Dad were the only ones who had wands".

The looks on their faces, a mix between wide-eyed betrayal and furrowed brow fear, clearly express how unimpressed they are. I suppose I'd feel the same way if I was in their shoes. "You left us alone with a murderer in the house". Fred restates.

I smack my lips together and look back and forth between my brothers with shifty eyes. Yeah, I can't blame them. That does sound really bad. "I was three" was my retort.

"So were we!" Fred throws back. "And you weren't really three. You had twenty-five more years of life experience than we had".

I mean, Fred does have a point. But I can't let him know that. "No", I argue. "Jessie had twenty-five years of life experience. Me, as in Holly, was very much a three-year-old". Silence fills the room as the three of us sort out our feelings. It can't be easy learning that your sister knew there was a killer in the house and didn't do anything about it. But taking it from my perspective, no one would have believed me if I just started saying out of the blue that Scabbers was actually a wizard who killed twelve people and framed Sirius Black in the process. There would have been no logical explanation about how I even knew who Sirius Black was at that age.

The silence ends when George starts to snicker. And he won't explain why he's laughing until both Fred and me are staring at him with questions. "You told Dad that you were scared to sleep alone because there was a monster in Percy's room that was going to hurt you". All I can do is shrug in response as Fred looks at me with mild disbelief. The best liars tell the truth.

In the end, we come up with a plan that will probably keep us occupied for the entire school year. Using Hogwarts numerous resources, AKA the library, we will search for a way to publicly expose Pettigrew to Hogwarts staff. That way we'll have very little to explain and there will be no denying that Scabbers is actually a wizard. With our end goal being; Scabbers does not come home with us for another summer.

But on the side, we'll also have to monitor the golden trio. As disturbing as it is to keep a murderer as a pet, it is equally disturbing to know that our defense against the dark arts teacher is hosting you-know-who in his body. We're going to have to spend whole classes stuck in the same room as him. We'll need to keep an eye out about any trolls in the dungeon. We'll need to spy on Hagrid to know exactly when Norbert, or rather Norberta, will hatch. If we can, we should keep the first years out of the forbidden forest. Harry will require extra attention in the hopes that we'll know when his scar starts to hurt. And Fred and George will have to be diligent about quidditch practice so they'll be in fit form to help Harry when Quirrell jinxes his broomstick. Ultimately, based on how things play out, we have to decide what we should do about the third-floor corridor. Do we let events carry out as they're supposed to? As J.K. Rowling intended. Do we go with the golden trio? Do we prevent Ron and Hermione from going, and instead the three of us go to support Harry? Because Harry does have to be the one to defeat Quirrell. Knowing what I do, I might be able to get the stone out of the mirror. But only Harry has the required touch, if you will, to end Quirrell. Other than that, it'll just be another year at Hogwarts.

With six kids, at least four trolleys, five trunks, and one caged owl traversing through muggle King's Cross station, this one of the most stressful days of the year for Molly Weasley. "Every year, packed with muggles of course," She said rather loudly as she leads the way to platforms nine and ten. Ginny walks beside her with Mum firmly holding her hand. She's been pouting all morning. Whatever plan she had concocted that she thought would get Mum to allow her to go to Hogwarts hadn't worked. It must be hard to be the youngest in a family this big. Ginny will be the only Weasley child at home for the next nine months. That will be hard after having at least Ron to always play with. It's a bit funny to think out of all eight of us only two will have any idea what it is like to be an only child; Bill and Ginny. But Ginny doesn't have it all bad. She'll get to go to Romania this year for Christmas.

Percy walks behind Mum and Ginny, but ahead of the rest of us. He is the most excited about going back to school. I don't recall exactly when Percy gets a girlfriend, but I think Penelope Clearwater might have something to do with his eagerness. He pushes his trolley with Hermes proudly on display in his cage on top of his trunk and his prefect badge gleams from where it is pinned over his muggle street clothes. No doubt he will have a lot to show Clearwater. I wish him luck in his endeavors.

After Percy, I follow shoulder to shoulder with Fred and George. Between the three of us, we only have two trolleys. Fred has both of his and my trunk stacked on his trolley. While George manages his trunk, will all of our carry-bags on top. When we arrived at the station, we could only find four free trolleys. So, Fred, George, and I got lumped together like we always do. I don't mind. Let the boys do the heavy lifting. Not having to push anything allows me to be on the lookout for one scrawny, shaggy black-haired youth. "Platform nine and three quarters this way," Mum said, urging us on. We always seem to move just a little too slow for her. It is when Mum said this that I spot a very confused looking boy standing off in the distance in clothes that are a couple of sizes too big. He has with him a trolley carrying a brand-new trunk and a snowy white owl. With my elbows, I nudge Fred and George in turn. With a subtle tilt of my head, I point my fellow triplets in the right direction. A second later Fred and George nod. Target acquired. We have to be careful not to be too obvious. What with Ron walking behind us. Though he hasn't been the most observant person this morning. He is looking a bit too pale for my liking. Though, that's probably our fault. Over breakfast, Fred and George had told him that in order to get sorted he would have to face a troll. And I didn't correct them. But it's fine. He'll be fine. It's just a little hazing between siblings. Completely harmless.

In the books… or was it the movie? Harry follows us once he hears Mum mention the platform. I use the corner of my eyes to see if that's true. I'm pleased as punch when I see the nervous boy trailing us. That's good. Once at platforms nine and ten, Mum stops and steps to the side; taking Ginny with her. "Percy you first" Mum ordered. She sounds just a tad less frizzled now that we are almost at our destination. I wonder what Mum does when we are off at school. I mean, I remember what it was like when we'd see Bill, Charlie, and Percy off. Mum always cried. But that was when she'd still have a full house, even with her three oldest gone. But when us triplets started school, I kind of imagined Mum going home, sending the younger ones off to do some reading and popping open a bottle of sherry and putting her feet. Now, Mum really doesn't seem to be the type to do that. But if I was a mother of eight who finally got a quiet moment to myself, I'd be drinking.

Percy doesn't hesitate as he takes the barrier between nine and ten at a run. Clearwater is on the other side I suspect. In a blink of an eye, Percy disappears. I have to fight the urge to look over my shoulder to see if Mr. Potter has the same startled look that he had in the movie. The fact that this is real life is something that I have to keep reminding myself. Mum nods her head in approval before turning to the next of us. "Fred, you next," she said with a wave of her free hand.

"He's not Fred," George said.

"I'm George," Fred said a beat after George talked. Both have put on their best acting hats and are trying to sound offended. "Honestly woman, and you call yourself our mother."

Mum nods her head at them in understanding. She hates it when she gets Fred and George mixed up. But at the moment she is more concerned about getting us all on the train than hurt feelings. "Sorry, George dear". Mum placates, as the mentioned brother, who is actually Fred, lines himself up with the trolley to make for the barrier.

Once he is all set, Fred looks up at Mum. "Only Joking", He said. "I am Fred". And he took off before Mum could say anything. George quickly follows suit and runs without being prompted. In a moment, both of them have disappeared.

Mum stamps her foot at the two but otherwise waves off their little joke. They've been pulling that one on her ever since they realized that they looked the same. "Holly," she said, turning to me. "Off you pop". I take the barrier at a slower pace than the others. If memory serves this is when Harry should be approaching Mum for help.

And just before I pass through, I hear a new voice call out, "Excuse me". Aw, I won't get to hear Ginny say her first two words to her future husband.

Fred, George and I don't dally to stay behind to meet Harry Potter. As third-year students, we are old hats at claiming a compartment for ourselves. And that takes precedence over everything else. Even Harry Potter. Not to worry though. We'll meet him soon enough. Abandoning the trolleys, I help Fred and George haul our trunks onto the train. From there we each claim our own trunks and walk single file down the aisle, dragging the trunks behind us. Fred in the lead, me in the middle, and George as the caboose. Though only two compartments in, Fred spies Lee Jordan. We need not worry about claiming a compartment after all. Jordan has beaten us to it. "Lee" Fred greeted after he slung open the compartment door. Fred enters first and makes short work of swinging his trunk up into overhead rack. It's all those beater's muscles that allow him and George to do it so easily.

"Weasley, Weasley, and Weasley," Lee said to each of us in turn as we filed in. He is sitting by the window with a suspicious brown cardboard box on his lap. He's too calm. Too composed. Usually, when we first see each other after a school break, he is bouncing around like a terrier puppy. Something in the back of my mind tells me that I am not going to like whatever is in his box. But for the life of me, I can't remember what it is. Fred Helps me place my trunk next to his as George does the same on the opposite rack. Only, he places his trunk next to Lee's. Maybe I should find Pucey and sit with him this train ride. It might be worth the extra teasing if I can avoid whatever is in that box.

"You okay holding the compartment, Lee?" George asked once all of our things are settled. "Mum will want to say bye before we leave".

Lee nods in an easy-going manner. "No problem. I can wait here". What is in that box? "Just don't make me wait too long. I got a gift for Jolly Holly". His lips twitch as if he is fighting a smile as he gestures his head to the box on his lap. He is taking such care to not move it. With narrowed eyes, I decide that I don't want to know what is in that box. Percy. There's always Percy. I can hide behind him this train ride. He wouldn't let some boy hand me a suspicious box. Even if it is Fred and George's best friend. But he'll be at his prefects' meeting for the first half of this trip. Bullocks.

In reverse order, George leads us out of the compartment. And here is step one of the plan. Well, not really. Considering that this part also happened in the book. We don't go immediately to the platform to say goodbye to Ginny and Mum. Instead, we search for the chosen one. Fred and George need to help him with his trunk after all.

We find Harry in a compartment all by his lonesome. He has the compartment window open, where he can hear all the heartfelt goodbyes between parent and offspring. This boy really likes to torture himself, doesn't he? He's standing up with his arms over his head as he tries to keep his trunk from falling off of the rack and on top of him. His thin little arms are shaking with all of his efforts. George and Fred step in at once while I stand in the doorframe. I had told them that they would meet Harry on the train and under exactly what circumstances. But nevertheless, I am proud to be their sister when they step up to help without any hesitation.

Once the trunk is safely stowed away, Fred and George turn to the eleven-year-old. "Nice to meet you, first-year" Fred started. "I'm Fred," he said, reaching across the grab Harry's right hand.

"I'm George," George said as he copied Fred, except he grabbed Harry's left hand. An act that forced Harry to cross his arms at his elbows. Fred and George rigorously shake his hands. Causing Harry's bangs to bounce and his glasses to go askew. The poor boy is too polite to tell these two gits to quite it. "And this is Holly," George said, nodding over his shoulder in my direction once they were done shaking hands.

Play it cool, Holly. I tell my self as I give the boy-who-lived a lazy little half-wave. It wouldn't do to let him know that I know who he is before he even gives us his name. But this is more difficult than I imagined it to be. It's hard to keep still and calm. I mean, a literary hero is standing right in front of me! "We're triplets," Fred and George said at the same time. As if it wasn't already obvious.

With his hands freed, Harry straightens his glasses. He seems almost bewildered by the onslaught that is Fred and George. But with time he'll get used to it. "Er… Hi" He said after a moment. "I'm Harry Potter," He said.

"Blimey," George said.

"He really is" Fred finished as both boys peered inquisitively at Harry's forehead, acting as if they hadn't known it from the start. "Well if you need anything, Mr. Potter, come find us. We know the school better than anyone".

"And we'd be happy to help", George started where Fred left off. "We won't even charge you for it". Once George finished the three of us backed out of the compartment, each giving Harry one more wave.

"Did that go okay?" Fred asked me as we walked away, heading for the platform to give Mum and Ginny our goodbyes.

"yeah", I said quietly as a couple of fifth years squeezed past us. "That was pretty much how I remembered it from the books". Although Fred and George didn't offer to help him straight out like that on the train. But considering what we are planning on doing this year, Fred and George thought it would be a good idea to do so.

"I don't know," George said as the three of us stepped out on to the platform. We immediately find Mum and Ginny due to all of the red hair. "Wasn't it kind of odd that Holly just stood there and didn't say anything?" George asked as we made our way over. Looks like Mum is just finishing with Percy.

I shrug. "I usually don't say a whole lot". For me, that was completely in character. "You two combined talk enough that I don't have too".

"Aw," Fred swings an arm over my shoulders and gives me a shake once we are only a few feet away from Mum and Ginny. "Don't worry Holls. We'll break you out of your shell. You won't be shy forever". I roll my eyes. Shy, as if.

At the sight of us, Mum lets Percy go. He scampers off with one last hug for Ginny. Probably to find the prefects' car. Mum starts with me. Pulling me into her arms and out from under Fred's, before doing the same for George and then Fred. "Now," she said, as Ginny and Ron stood in the background as spectators. "You three," she said very sternly. She has one hand on her hip as she uses her other hand to point at each of us in turn. "Behave this year. I don't want a single owl telling me that you've blown up a toilet, or-"

I cut her off. "Blown up a toilet? That's disgusting. We've never blown up a toilet" I said.

But before Mum can even look a little relieved Fred takes charge. "Great idea though. Thanks, Mum". Fred said, smiling widely at Mum. I shake my head. We are not blowing up a toilet.

"Yeah" George chimed in. "Hey Ginny, do you want us to send you a Hogwarts toilet seat?" George asked, making it sound the world's greatest Christmas gift. But I refuse. I absolutely refuse. We will not be blowing up a germy, disgusting toilet.

Ginny giggled at their antics. At least that is better than the pouting face she has been displaying all morning. "It isn't funny!" Mum reprimands as she chooses to just ignore Fred and George. She pulls Ron into a hug, making the boy blush. "you'll look after Ron" She said, giving us another direction.

Fred and George smirk at each other. "Don't worry. Ickle Ronniekins will be safe with us" Fred said in a baby voice as Ron turned a dark shade of red.

"Shut up" he complained. The four of us all get one last hug from Mum and Ginny before the train whistle sounds.

"On you go," Mum said. Placing one last kiss on top of Ron's forehead as we boarded the train. The train door magically shuts behind us. So it is safe for us to stand there as the train pulls out of the station. We all wave to Mum and Ginny. The later who chases after the train. She doesn't stop until she runs out of platform to run on. We don't stop waving until we can no longer see them. And a new year at Hogwarts has officially started.

"Well," George said, as he pulls me and Fred away from the closed door. "We're going to sit with Lee Jordan," he said to Ron.

"He has something to show Holly," Fred said, eyes flashing with mirth. Oh, merlin. I had forgotten about that stupid box. Maybe I should run.

Though as if reading my mind, Fred and George each grab one of my hands. There really is no escaping these two. "So, have fun Ron". They said in sync. "We'll see you later."

"After the sorting"

"If you survive the troll".

Ron gulps nervously. "Can't I sit with you lot?" He asked.

"Sorry, Ron," I said. It is vital. At least in my opinion that he makes friends with Harry on this trip. It is simply a friendship that was meant to be.

"But you have to be at least this tall," Fred said, waving his free hand horizontally over the top of my head. Fred and George may be identical, but as I am a girl, I am not. One of our physical differences is height. Fred and George are at least two inches taller than I am. "To ride with us". Fred leads, the way. Tugging on my hand to get me to follow.

I get the feeling that I am going to be held captive for this train ride. I sigh. Or at least until I look into Lee Jordan's box. But I resist long enough to inform Ron for something rather important. "There's a boy about your age sitting my himself three compartments down. Why don't you go ask if you can sit with him" I said, as Fred finally manages to get me moving. George follows after me, seeing as we are all holding hands. There's nothing wrong with giving Ron a little push in the right direction.