Chapter Three

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Someone knocked on the door. 

"They're here!" Fred and George shouted in unison. 

The door opened, revealing a young man.

"Hello." he said. "My name is Neville Longbottom. Are your parents here?"

"Yeah, they're in the sitting room." George said. "MUM! THE GUY WANTS TO TALK TO YOU AND DAD!" 

Brooke appeared in the hallway. 

"Hello." she said, smiling warmly. "My name's Brooke Rookwood."

"I'm Neville Longbottom." he said. "I'm Herbology teacher at Hogwarts."

"It's wonderful to meet you." Brooke said. "Arthur's just here, in the sitting room."

Neville followed Brooke to the sitting room, and stopped.

Fred Weasley was sitting on the sofa.

"Hello." he said, standing up to shake Neville's hand. "I'm Arthur Rookwood. I understand you're from this school, Hogwarts?"

"Oh, um, yes." Neville said. "I teach Herbology."

"So what is it about Fred and George that caught your eye?" Arthur asked. 

"Well, as it's a school for Witchcraft and Wizardry, they have magic." Neville said bluntly. "Hogwarts is where they'll learn how to use it." 

At that moment, the door to the sitting room opened, and a little girl poked her head in. Neville just caught sight of a pair of brown eyes before the door closed with a snap.

"Ginny." Fred explained to Neville. "You don't know how weird it is for her to be this shy."

"She never shuts up, usually." George finished. "But we were talking about Hogwarts?"

"Oh, yes." Neville said. "Well, if you'd like, I can take you all to Diagon Alley to buy her things. I just have a question... are either of you magical?" Neville directed this question at Brooke and Arthur.

"No." Arthur said, shaking his head. "Until this morning, I'd never heard of Hogwarts." 

"Well, that's strange." Neville said. "You guys have a vault at Gringott's. It's got a reasonable amount of money in it." 

"Gringott's?" Brooke asked.

"The wizard's bank." Neville explained. 

"Well, I want to go to Diagon Alley." Fred declared.

"So do I!" George exclaimed.

Looking at their two daughters, Arthur smiled. He turned to Brooke, who shrugged. 

"Can you meet us here tomorrow morning?"

------------------------

The little family stood on their front porch, waiting for Neville. 

"This is real, right?" Fred asked. "You guys aren't messing with us?"

"No, we're not." Arthur said. "It's quite exciting, don't you think?"

"Um, yeah!" George said. "I'm a witch! How awesome is that?"

Neville appeared on their front step.

"AH!" Fred and George both screamed.

"That's Apparition." Neville said. "I'll take you one at a time by side-along apparition to get to Diagon Alley." 

After all her family had gone, Fred stood alone on her porch, waiting for Neville. When he at last returned, he offered her his arm.

"Hold on tight." he said. "And be forewarned; it's quite uncomfortable."  

Fred grasped Neville's arm firmly, and felt him twist away from her. Before she knew it, she was blinking in bright sunlight. 

"Never- again," she gasped. "Never-ever-again." 

Neville laughed. "They're over here."

The family walked throughout Diagon Alley. They all found this small alley concrete proof that this was no joke. 


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