Picking up from the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the story follows Daniel through his adventures at Hogwarts, joined by Rose, Albus, Scorpius, and several other students.
I watched as he crouched down next to his son. He was saying something that seemed to only be between the two of them, something that must have been wondrous news; his son’s face started glowing. Then his son jumped on the train to Hogwarts, looking relieved, and it seemed as though the dark-haired father was garnering quite the attention. The man whose head seemed to be on fire, it was so bright, at that point said something that must have been humorous, because several children laughed at his words. As the train rolled around a corner, I caught a glimpse of the father with glasses lowering his hand to his forehead, almost unconsciously. I had vowed to take revenge for my father, and I would do so. After all, Harry Potter was getting a bit too comfortable in his supposed “safety”.
All the compartments seemed to be full, and no one seemed to want to make room for him. This didn’t really surprise him, being who he was, but it would have been nice if one person could try to be civil. As he neared the back of the train, just about giving up hope of finding a seat, he heard a door slide open and the sound of someone being shoved out. “And stay out!” someone within cried. He cautiously moved closer, and was nearly knocked down by someone storming down the passageway muttering to himself. How rude, he thought to himself. He put his head around the doorway and asked, “Is there an empty seat, perchance?”
A girl with bushy red hair glanced at him with piercing brown eyes and asked, “You wouldn’t be the type to bewitch other’s belongings, would you?”
“Of course not,” he said, quite bewildered.
“I’m Rose, by the way. Rose Weasley. And this is Albus Potter,” she said, indicating the rather thin boy sitting across from her. “And who are you?”
“My name’s Dan, Daniel Black. Pleased to meet you,” he responded with a small bow. “So who was it you threw out of the compartment, if I may ask?”
Rose’s eyes glinted with anger. “A very rude boy, I didn’t ask his name. He bewitched poor Albus’ books to fly around the compartment when he heard Albus’ last name.” She seemed to swell with anger at the mere thought of the boy. Albus flushed and looked away. “Why someone would do that without provocation is beyond me!” Rose finished.
“Maybe he mistook your last name?” Dan said kindly to Albus. “Potter isn’t exactly the most uncommon last name in the world.”
“I, I guess so,” Albus said nervously.
“Wait a minute; you said your name was Black? As in related to Sirius Black?” Rose asked.
“Yeah, how’d you know?” Dan asked, bewildered that this girl knew who he was.
“Albus’ father is Harry Potter, you see? And Sirius was Mr. Potter’s godfather. And seeing how my father and mother both knew him, it wasn’t hard to make the connection,” Rose said self-satisfactorily. Her expression suddenly turned into one of confusion. “But wait, wasn’t Sirius the last of the Blacks?”
“His brother, Regulus, as you probably know, became a Death Eater at the age of 16. During the short time he was part of Voldemort’s forces, he had an affair with one of the other Death Eaters. Her name was Bellatrix Lestrange.”
At this point, Rose uttered a small gasp. Dan looked over at her and was concerned to see that her face had gone white and her eyes were open wide. Her hands had flown up to her mouth in an attempt to stifle the gasp that had slipped out. “So, that means --”
“Yes, I’m related to a maniacal Death Eater.” Dan’s face had hardened; he now looked quite frightening.
Rose looked as though she’d rather be anywhere but there in that particular moment. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know!”
“Of course you didn’t, not many people do. It’s quite alright, really,” Dan said, his face resuming a more normal expression. “As I was saying, Regulus had an affair with Bellatrix, and she ended up pregnant. Of course, that would have destroyed her standing with Voldemort, so she sent her newborn son off to an orphanage. He grew up, with no magical ability at all, then he met my mother. And so now you know the story of my name.”
He finished to their stunned silence. Albus had long since abandoned staring pointedly out the window to stare at Dan with a mix of wonder, fear, and surprise in his eyes. Rose was looking at him with incredulity all over her face. The silence stretched on, and was only broken by a soft knocking on the compartment door. All three jumped. Outside was a boy with a pale, pointed face. “Excuse me, he asked in a quiet voice as he slid the door open. “But have any of you seen any robes around, by any chance?”
“We haven’t, or at least I haven’t,” said Rose. She looked at the boys with a puzzled look on her face. “Have either of you?”
“No,” said Dan. Albus merely shook his head.
“And this is the last compartment, too. I wonder what could’ve happened to them,” said the boy. He was at this point quite upset; his cheeks had turned a blotchy red and he was frowning. “We’re almost there, too…”
Rose stood up suddenly, a smile quickly spreading on her face. “I’ve read about spells for things like this! I think it was called a… a Summoning Charm!” she said with triumph in her voice. Pulling out her wand, she turned to the boy. “What did you say your name was? It’ll help me get your robes back.”
“Oh, alright,” the boy said, quite flustered by this fortunate turn of events. “I’m Scorpius, Scorpius Malfoy. I can’t thank you enough for helping me,” he said in a rush of gratitude.
Rose smiled at him. “The pleasure’s mine. I’m Rose Weasley, this is Daniel Black, and that boy there is Albus Potter. Now, the Summoning Charm. Right. Accio --”
“Potter, you said?” exclaimed Scorpius. “The Potter, as in Harry Potter?”
“Y-yes, that’s right,” replied Albus bewilderedly. “He’s my father.”
Scorpius stared at him. “I can’t… I don’t believe it! The son of Harry Potter, and I met him on the train to Hogwarts! This is… Wow,” he finished rather lamely.
Albus turned back to the window, nervousness etched on every feature of his face. Rose looked rather annoyed by the interruption. “Now if you don’t mind, Accio Scorpius’ robes!”
There was a rush of movement out in the passageway, and a pile of robes flew into the compartment and onto the seat next to Rose. Dan stood up and slid the door shut. Scorpius looked at Rose with wonder and something akin to reverence filling his eyes. Rose looked at Dan nervously, and he could tell she was unnerved by the look in Scorpius’ face.
“Well, um, there are your robes, Scorpius,” said Rose in an attempt to break the awkward tension that had settled into the compartment.
“That was brilliant! That’s supposed to be really advanced magic, how were you able to do it?” Scorpius said loudly, his voice filling the room.
Rose looked embarrassed from all the attention Scorpius was lavishing on her. “I read the schoolbooks cover to cover, and my mum let me read some of her old books.”
“Your mum must be brilliant!”exclaimed Scorpius.
“Your mum must be mental,” muttered Dan.
Albus snickered a little when he heard this, causing Rose to throw both of them dirty looks. When she turned back to Scorpius, Dan gave Albus a thumbs-up behind her back. Albus smiled back at him. Hearing his name, Dan turned to the conversation Rose and Scorpius were having.
“What about me?” he asked.
“Oh, come on, Dan, pay attention! I asked you what House you think you’ll get into,” said Rose impatiently.
“Oh,” said Dan sheepishly. “I always thought Ravenclaw might be nice. But with my luck, I’d end up in Slytherin.” Dan shuddered. “I’d do anything to be in any House but Slytherin. Even Hufflepuff sounds excellent compared to – Why, what’s the matter, Scorp?” For Scorpius had taken on a look of extreme surprise and disgust.
“What’s wrong with Slytherin, might I ask?” Scorpius asked in a dangerously quiet voice.
“Oh, nothing. If you want to grow up to be deranged in the head, that is,” said Dan nonchalantly. His eyes, however, betrayed his true thoughts on Slytherin House in the intense stare he was giving Scorpius.
Scorpius’ wand was in his hand so fast no one had any time to react. “Take that back,” he said so quietly Dan wasn’t sure Scorpius had spoken.
“And why should I do that, exactly? In case you haven’t noticed, most Slytherins end up becoming Dark wizards or in Azkaban!” Dan’s wand was also in his hand at this point.
Rose jumped between them and put a hand on each of their chests. “Stop it, please! Both of you! Just stop!”
Both of them froze. Still glaring at each other, they slowly lowered their wands from each other’s bodies and even more slowly sat down on opposite sides of the compartment. However, they never lowered their glares.
Rose looked at both of them. “Now, why don’t you try talking things out instead of fighting?”
“Fine. Scorpius, why should I take what I said back?” asked Dan with a note of derision in his voice.
“Both my mother and my father were Slytherins, and neither of them are Dark wizards or in Azkaban,” Scorpius said defensively.
“Oh, well, that’s wonderful for you, isn’t it? Meanwhile, my Slytherin grandmother was a maniacal witch who was imprisoned in Azkaban for torturing other wizards, driving them insane, and she was, thankfully, killed a few years after Voldemort came back to power!” Dan spat back vehemently.
Instantly, the fight drained out of Scorpius. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know,” he said softly.
“Now you know why I don’t favor Slytherin House,” said Dan as he leaned back into the seat.
A thick silence filled the compartment. Albus looked from Dan to Rose with confusion on his face. Rose gave Albus an ‘I-don’t-know-what-to-tell-you’ look and shrugged slightly. The silence dragged on, until finally Rose said nervously, “Perhaps you ought to change? We should be nearly there now.”
The boys all dragged out their robes (except for Scorpius, who had to dive under the seat to retrieve his robes from where they had fallen when he had jumped up) and pulled them on in huffy silence. When the train finally stopped, Rose, Albus, and Scorpius jumped up almost immediately, but Dan remained seated. “What are you doing, Dan? We’re here, we need to get off,” said Rose.
Dan looked at her wearily and slowly got to his feet. Rose pretended to tie her shoe while Albus and Scorpius got off, and then asked Dan in a low voice, “What’s the matter, Dan? You were so happy at the beginning of the train ride.”
Dan sighed and said, “I guess I’m just nervous. I really don’t want to get into Slytherin.”
“Well that’s no reason not to be happy! After all, we’re at Hogwarts, Dan!” Rose said excitedly. She looked at him with such joy in her eyes that he couldn’t help but grin back.
“I guess you’re right, Rose. I’m worrying too much. Now come on, let’s go!” said Dan and jumped off the train, leaving Rose shaking her head.
“Boys!” she said to herself before following Dan onto the platform.